Steelers' Najee Harris reflects on Nick Saban's retirement, finds silver lining


Pittsburgh Steelers star Najee Harris was an All-American at Alabama when he played under head coach Nick Saban from 2017 to 2020 and won two national championships with the Crimson Tide.

In a shock to the college football world, Saban announced his retirement as head coach of Alabama after a stellar career. He won seven national titles over the course of his career – six with Alabama and one with LSU.

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Najee Harris, #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide, rushes against Jonathon Cooper #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Harris gave his reaction to Saban’s retirement in an interview with Fox News Digital from radio row at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. 

“Saban and what he did for college football is something a few people could do, obviously,” Harris said. “For Saban to bring what he brought to Tuscaloosa for the people there – it’s something big. Him as a person is something that stands out for me the most.

“For him to retire, everyone has their day. Can’t be too mad or sad about what happened. You gotta understand it. But for the people of Tuscaloosa, he was such an icon there. Statues of him everywhere. A lot of his foundations helped out a lot of kids. A lot of his foundations helped out a lot of people in need.”

Nick Saban celebrates in 2020

Nick Saban, Najee Harris, #22, and Alex Leatherwood, #70, of the Alabama Crimson Tide hold up the trophy as they celebrate their 52-46 win over the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 19, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Harris noted a silver lining in Saban’s retirement.

“Him and Miss Terry are great people. I’m just glad he can just enjoy his life now. Not saying he didn’t, but the stress of losing the game is out the window,” he added.

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Najee Harris vs Ravens

Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) runs the ball near the Ravens goal line during the Pittsburgh Steelers-versus-Baltimore Ravens NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 6, 2024, in Baltimore, Maryland. (Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Harris sat next to his Steelers teammate Jaylen Warren as they promoted Bounty’s Wingman campaign ahead of Super Bowl LVIII. The two sat on top of the Bounty set at radio row and had some wings during their day.

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