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Fumble rates for Alabama running backs under Saban (through 2020)

Najee Harris had ridiculous ball security at Bama

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Ohio State vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Some of y’all thought I was going to jinx Najee Harris during the season when I updated this list. Well, I think things turned out alright for the eventual Doak Walker Award winner.

Last we checked, Harris had two career fumbles (only one lost); and he had a sizable lead over Mark Ingram for touches per fumble (284 vs. 211.3). Harris, despite the bad juju some thought I was putting on him, did not fumble again. So let’s take a look at how absurd his numbers ended up.

Updated fumble rates

Player Fumble rate (touches/fumble) Fumbles
Player Fumble rate (touches/fumble) Fumbles
Bo Scarbrough 96 3
Damien Harris 179.7 3
Derrick Henry 123.8 5
Eddie Lacy 65 6
Glen Coffee 64.9 7
Jalston Fowler* 66 2
Josh Jacobs 105.7 3
Kenyan Drake 49.8 7
Mark Ingram 211.3 3
Najee Harris 381.5 2
T.J. Yeldon 62.2 10
Trent Richardson 90.9 7

I had previously said Harris was blowing Ingram out of the water, but the final numbers have Harris in entirely separate pool. And the only fumble Harris lost in college came on a play that should have been blown dead before he lost the ball. That would have given Najee Harris one fumble (which Alabama recovered) across 763 touches over his four years.

Not bad.

Once again, I’m not including Brian Robinson, Jr. in the list (though that should change after the coming season). For comparison’s sake, however, B-Rob has 302 career touches with two fumbles. This 151 touches/fumble rate would put him solidly in fourth place behind Harris the Younger, Ingram, and Harris the Elder.