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Alabama Football Film Room: Christian Harris is learning on the job

There are some growing pains, but the potential is apparent.

Alabama v South Carolina Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Unsurprisingly for a true freshman, Christian Harris has had an up-and-down first few games. He and Shane Lee got picked on at times against South Carolina, though both bounced back the following week against Southern Miss.

For this film room, I mainly looked at Harris’s South Carolina game; so it’s not terribly pretty. However, I also have one of his good plays against Southern Miss at the end. I may do a mixture of games like this for future film rooms during the season, too.

1st and 10: South Carolina sends the receiver at the bottom in motion, and he gets the handoff. Harris (#8) is a hair slow getting moving after the snap. When he does get going, he moves forward too much, rather than going laterally; and he gets caught up in D.J. Dale (#94). This slows him down, but he does get moving to the sideline. Harris reaches the ball carrier after Patrick Surtain (#2) has made contact...and kind of doesn’t do anything. The receiver gets free and gains another five or so yards.

2nd and 3: The Gamecocks are in hurry-up mode. The running back is initially on the same side as Harris; but he motions out to the right, with Shane Lee following. Once again, Harris is a bit slow off the snap, and the tight end is wide open in the flat. Harris takes a slightly too aggressive angle at first and has to adjust. Harris forces the tight end out of bounds and makes the tackle, but it’s an easy first down.

2nd and 8: It’s basically the same as the previous play. The running back motions from left to right while the tight end releases into the flat. Harris reacts quickly this time and is in position to make the tackle shortly after the catch. Unfortunately, he overshoots; and the tight end nimbly avoids Harris and gets free. For good measure, Shane Lee (#35) also overshoots and can’t make the tackle.

Now let’s look at this tackle for a loss from the Southern Miss game, a game in which he had 6 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss.

2nd and 10: The Golden Eagles run it outside to Harris’s side. This time, he reads the run and attacks. Harris avoids the center, who can’t quite get to him; and he shoots through the hole, taking down the running back for a loss of three or so.