Najee Harris, the newest member of the Pittsburgh Steelers after his selection in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday, is pretty familiar with the history of the team.
Despite growing up in the Bay Area of California, Harris and two teams he payed attention to growing up, his hometown San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders.
So when Harris took his call from head coach Mike Tomlin to officially sign to play with the likes of future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger, he was already pretty familiar with the franchise’s history of running the football.
“Franco Harris, they had Jerome [Bettis], obviously Le’Veon [Bell], had James [Conner] recently,” Harris said. “But I mean, yeah, one thing about the Steelers is recent history has always evolved around the run game.”
Harris said the idea of playing with Roethlisberger, a quarterback he’s watched since he was young, would be “dope as hell.”
“Actually seeing Big Ben, all the Super Bowls he came into and actually seeing him perform at a high level and stuff like that and actually being able to line up with him, on the side of him and learn from him, I mean, that’s an honor right there to have,” Harris said.
While Harris’ career will likely stretch beyond that of his first starting quarterback, he’s excited about being connected to the legacy of winning that he’s grown up. watching.
“I always thought it would be a perfect fit to be there,” he said. “I know a little bit about it because I am a football junkie, but I’m always open to learn more.”