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For the first time since 2015, a man with the last name of Harris won’t lead Alabama football in rushing attempts.

Former Alabama running back Najee Harris is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Damien Harris has been with the Patriots since 2019.

The Steelers’ Harris leaves behind a colossal job opening. He finished with 251 of the team’s 414 carries given to running backs this past season, or 60.6 percent. That’s the third-most for a running back during coach Nick Saban’s time in Tuscaloosa.

Derrick Henry’s 72.21 percent of Alabama’s carries when he won the Heisman in 2015 ranks as the highest.

Redshirt senior Brian Robinson Jr., who had 21.9 percent of running back carries this past season, is expected to have the first crack at replacing Harris. He’s never been the main back, but not because he’s incapable.

“When he did play last year, he played extremely well for us,” Saban said in March. “I was really pleased. He just didn’t play that much, and it really wasn’t his fault. Najee was one of those guys, the more he played, the more he ran the ball, the better he got. So, he really wasn’t one of those guys you wanted to take in and out of a game all the time. He would get on a roll.”

The Crimson Tide could take the same approach with Robinson in 2021. Or, Alabama could decide not to give one back a majority of the carries. Even with Keilan Robinson and Kyle Edwards entering the transfer portal this offseason, the Crimson Tide still has plenty of talent at running back with players such as Roydell Williams, Jase McClellan, Trey Sanders and incoming five-star freshman Camar Wheaton.

No matter if Alabama primarily uses one guy or distributes carries more evenly, the Crimson Tide has experience with both approaches.

One back has taken more than 50 percent of the carries in six of Saban’s seasons. In the other eight seasons, no running back has received a majority of the carries.

Here’s a look at each season in how Alabama has split carries among the top three running backs:

2007

Terry Grant (45 percent)

Glen Coffee (32.25 percent)

Roy Upchurch (12.5 percent)

Number of backs used: 5

2008

Glen Coffee (48.14 percent)

Mark Ingram (29.55 percent)

Roy Upchurch (11.98 percent)

Number of backs used: 6

2009

Mark Ingram (52.12 percent)

Trent Richardson (27.88 percent)

Roy Upchurch (9.23 percent)

Number of backs used: 5

2010

Mark Ingram (41.2 percent)

Trent Richardson (29.2 percent)

Eddie Lacy (14.6 percent)

Number of backs used: 7

2011

Trent Richardson (65.21 percent)

Eddie Lacy (21.9 percent)

Jalston Fowler (12.9 percent)

Number of backs used: 3

2012

Eddie Lacy (42.23 percent)

T.J. Yeldon (36.23 percent)

Kenyan Drake (8.69 percent)

Number of backs used: 8

2013

T.J. Yeldon (51.75 percent)

Kenyan Drake (23 percent)

Derrick Henry (8.75 percent)

Number of backs used: 7

2014

T.J. Yeldon (41.72 percent)

Derrick Henry (36.98 percent)

Tyren Jones (7.74 percent)

Number of backs used: 8

2015

Derrick Henry (72.21 percent)

Kenyan Drake (14.08 percent)

Damien Harris (8.41 percent)

Number of backs used: 6

2016

Damien Harris (35.18 percent)

Bo Scarbrough (30.12 percent)

Josh Jacobs (20.48 percent)

Number of backs used: 7

2017

Damien Harris (32.85 percent)

Bo Scarbrough (30.17 percent)

Najee Harris (14.8 percent)

Number of backs used: 6

2018

Damien Harris (32.12 percent)

Josh Jacobs (25.70 percent)

Najee Harris (25.05 percent)

Number of backs used: 6

2019

Najee Harris (55.29 percent)

Brian Robinson Jr. (25.40 percent)

Keilan Robinson (10.32 percent)

Number of backs used: 6

2020

Najee Harris (60.60 percent)

Brian Robinson Jr. (21.40 percent)

Trey Sanders (7.25 percent)

Number of backs used: 5

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This article originally ran on annistonstar.com.

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