Steelers’ Najee Harris makes unforgettable first impression of Pittsburgh: ‘It seems like Alice in Wonderland’
Almost everyone who visits Pittsburgh remembers their original view. While you can’t see the city while driving into the Fort Pitt Tunnel, the other side of the tunnel offers breathtaking views of a city known for its scenic skyline, rolling hills, and the three rivers that meet in the center.
Najee Harris, the Steelers’ first choice in the 2021 draft, had never visited Pittsburgh before flying there less than 24 hours after the draft. The former Alabama star, who ran back and was from California, didn’t hide his first impressions of Pittsburgh as he exited the Fort Pitt tunnel.
“Oh, that’s clean,” Harris said before spotting Heinz Field on his left. “There it is, right there? Oh, that’s bloody nice! It looks like Alice in Wonderland out here.”
Harris’ first day in Pittsburgh included a ride on the famous Duquesne Incline. He also had the opportunity to see Heinz Field up close for the first time.
“The view from it all, I can see why people really like this place,” Harris said. “Boy, that’s beautiful.”
Steelers fans sang similar hymns of praise for Harris after the Steelers picked him for the first time in the first round since 2008. Harris, who avoided signing up for the draft last year to improve his draft inventory and win another national title, achieved both goals. Harris, the nation’s leading provider of quick touchdowns (26) and total touchdowns (30), won the Doak Walker Award, which is given annually to the best running backs in college football. He also helped lead Alabama to its sixth national championship under Nick Saban.
Harris is hoping for a similar impact in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers are trying to upgrade a charge that finished 32nd in the league in 2020. Together with Harris, the Steelers used a selection from the third round for the former Illinois center Kendrick Green and a selection in the fourth round against the former Texas A & M offensive player against Dan Moore. They also spent a second round with Pat Freiermuth, the former Penn State tight end who will try to replace Vance McDonald’s blocking and catching skills.
While he never visited Pittsburgh until Friday, Harris said the Steelers – along with his hometown 49ers – were one of the teams he watched grow up. He’s hoping to add his name to the list of previously successful Steelers running backs that include Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis and Le’Veon Bell.
“One thing about the Steelers [the offense] has always evolved around the game in progress, “said Harris.” I always thought it would be perfect to be there. ”