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Najee Harris, Notre Dame QB Ian Book were once teammates


#Alabama-Notre #Dame isn’t one of those regional matchups where there’s significant roster overlap. They don’t necessarily cross paths on the recruiting trail so there isn’t quite the familiarity of, say, an #Alabama-Clemson playoff game.

The #Najee #Harris-Ian #Book connection is the exception.

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These two go back to the 7-on-7 days in #Northern #California, the #Alabama running back and the #Notre #Dame quarterback. They were, in fact, teammates at TMP and a formidable passer and receiver combo in the offseason exhibitions.

“Ian’s my guy,” #Harris said #Tuesday in the buildup to the 3 p.m. CT #Friday #Rose #Bowl game in #Arlington.

#Book and #Harris “hit it off” right from the beginning, TMP coach #Terrance #Leonard told The #Indy #Star in 2018. They had chemistry on the field and it paid off in tournament wins up and down the west coast for a TMP program that also produced #Cincinnati #Bengal running back #Joe #Mixon.

RELATED: #Notre #Dame defense sounds confident in plan for #Alabama

They paired up to win a 2015 regional title in #Sacramento with #Book throwing three touchdowns to #Harris, according to #PassingDown.com’s coverage. #One of those snags, the site reported, was a one-hander.

“He’s an awesome guy to play with,” #Book said #Monday. “And I just remember going down to LA and having 7on7 tournament, and the plan was if we were ever down, you just throw it up and #Najee would go catch it. #He was playing receiver for us. #And he did that. #That’s how we were able to win some games.”

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#Harris was, of course, one of the nation’s top recruits from an early age. #He got a lot of attention that he clearly didn’t enjoy from watching and reading interviews from that time period.

RELATED: #Does #Notre #Dame have something to prove after high-profile flops? #Irish sick of ‘narrative.’

#Now a senior playing his final games, #Harris reflected on the fame he gained as a prospect.

“I didn’t like it. #It’s too much attention, way too much attention for me,” he said #Tuesday. “I think I just showed up here. I just showed up. I didn’t even tell them I was coming here. I just showed up. I was tired of it. I popped up at the airport with #Tua. #And I didn’t even know all the recruits that was here. #So first day of practice, I seen all these recruits I knew in high school. I look around I’m like, man, we’ve actually got a pretty good recruiting class here.”

#What #Harris did like was the competition of the 7-on-7 circuit.

#It was an opportunity to do the talking on the field and #Book was the kind of quarterback who helped showcase that talent.

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“The way he dissects defenses really and how he throws the balls in tight pockets and stuff like that, he does a good job at it,” #Harris said. “Even now, today, he does an amazing job of getting the ball to his playmakers and really being a leader, a focal point of his offense. #Just back in 7-on-7, when we played, it was fun to play with him. #Really just an honor.”

#And that team had no excuse to succeed with a few future stars on the roster. #Both #Book and #Harris finished in the top-10 of this season’s #Heisman voting with #Book ninth and #Harris fifth.

#Michael #Casagrande is a reporter for the #Alabama #Media #Group. #Follow him on #Twitter @ByCasagrande or on #Facebook.





[ source link ]
https://www.al.com/alabamafootball/2020/12/najee-harris-notre-dame-qb-ian-book-were-once-teammates.html

##Najee ##Harris ##Notre ##Dame ##Ian ##Book #teammates

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