clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jumbo Package: Gump Day!

New, 79 comments

The future of Alabama’s running back group looks bright

Mississippi State vs Alabama Photo by UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

— Another running back, freshman Jase McClellan was another topic of discussion. Defensive lineman DJ Dale said he’s been impressed from the very beginning. “Like he’s been here for a while,” Dale said. “He looks just like the old guys, and they’ve been doing a good job of coaching him up.”

— Forristall said McClellan “really stepped up as of late.” With all the roster uncertainty, young guys have seen more reps, Forristall said. The five-star prospect has yet to get a carry in a game but has impressed in practice. “He runs really, really hard, that’s the first thing that jumps off when you watch Jase play, he runs hard,” Forristall said. “And he does a great job of finishing, even in practice, and that’s going to pay off in games when he starts to get more and more carries. That guy’s really developed and I’m proud of the way he practices.”

AL.com has a roundup of quotes from player interviews yesterday. Overall, I like the enthusiasm and team spirit that these guys all seem to be radiating.

Interestingly, Freshman RB Jase McClellan has been getting name-dropped a lot around the internet as a guy who’s really stepping up with Trey Sanders going out for the season. Which, just a few weeks ago, freshman Roydell Williams came into the game to get carries before McClellan did.

Regardless of who gets the playing time this year, I’m excited for the two of them as a duo in the future. In terms of style, Williams is more of a tough, choppy, runner like Josh Jacobs or Mark Ingram who excels in tight spaces, while McClellan is more of an explosive glider who can gobble up a whole bunch of yards in a hurry.

“A while back my bumper was ripped off while my truck was getting worked on, towed somewhere,” Dickerson said. Couldn’t really figure out what happened to it, but to be safe to me and other drivers, I decided to take it off because it was a hazard and the railroad tie was a cost-effective method to keep some sort of bumper-esque device on the front of my truck.”

Two more bolts secured a “BAMA” license plate in place.

Where one finds a spare railroad tie was a question left unanswered.

But it falls in line with the Dickerson brand.

Want to ingratiate yourself with an audience of Alabama football fans? Put a railroad tie on your truck to take the place of a bumper. Landon Dickerson really is aiming to be a Tide icon.

Two seasons ago, Alabama alumni produced four 100-yard rushing games – two apiece for Henry and Ingram.

Last year, that number ballooned to 18 – six for Henry, five for Jacobs, four for Ingram and three for Drake.

Out of the 50 100-yard rushing games in the NFL this season, Alabama backs account for 12 – five for Henry (the most in the NFL), three for Harris, two for Drake and two for Jacobs. The closest alumni collection to that so far is Georgia’s six 100-yard rushing games in 2020 by Nick Chubb, Todd Gurley, Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift.

While 100-yard games are old hat for Alabama’s other century runners, Harris had five offensive snaps of NFL experience before making his 2020 debut on Oct. 5 after a hand injury delayed the start to his season. He’s gone 3-for-6 on 100-yard games since, and he reached career highs on Sunday night even though the New England injury report listed his status as questionable because of chest and ankle injuries that had forced him out of the Patriots’ previous game.

Man, it seems like only yesterday that every single internet commenter in the USA was assuring me that all Alabama running backs are busts in the pros.

Seriously, check out Damien Harris:

Harris was probably the least-hyped starting running back of the Nick Saban era despite being a former 5-star recruit and obliterating the yards-per-carry stats of every single Saban running back not named Eddie Lacy. Congrats to him for taking his uber-consistent elite vision to the pros and immediately making an impact in New England.

Alabama running back Najee Harris is one of 20 semifinalists for the fourth annual Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year award, it was announced Tuesday. The award, presented by Albertsons and Tom Thumb, focuses primarily on a player’s leadership on and off the field.

One of the nation’s top running backs, Harris has accumulated 3,091 career rushing yards. He has overcome a challenging childhood in which he faced homelessness to become a vocal leader during the Alabama team’s social justice movement and one of the main voices for his university’s push towards a more unified campus. He has also been an active member in the Tuscaloosa community, recording nearly 50 hours of community service, highlighted by his volunteer efforts with the Alberta Head Start Unity Project.

Roll Najee Roll!

This is one of those kind of awards that mean little in the eyes of Twitter and national media, but ultimately mean so much more on the scale of life than a mere football achievement award.

Happy Gump Day, everyone!