Thrown into the biggest game of the college football season, a former Antioch High School star and current University of Alabama freshman decided to break out.
Najee Harris, a running back for Crimson Tide, rolled to a team-high 64 yards — including a game-high 35-yard burst — on the ground to help lead Alabama to a come-from-behind victory over Georgia in the College Football Playoff national championship game.
The East Bay product, who was one the nation's top prospects in the Class of 2017 recruiting class, was widely regarded as the fourth back in Alabama's backfield during the season, sitting behind juniors Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough and sophomore Joshua Jacobs. That roster ranking didn't seem to bother Harris much on the grandest of stages.
After falling behind 13-0 after the first 30 minutes of play, Alabama head coach Nick Saban went with a youth movement, replacing a number of positions, including quarterback, with freshmen phenoms such as Harris.
Harris' most memorable contribution came in the the fourth quarter. After receiving a handoff, he bounced outside off the left tackle, broke an ankle tackle and scampered for 35 yards before being run out of bounds. The Crimson Tide would go on to kick a field goal on that drive to pull within seven points.
Alabama would eventually tie the game, 20-20, and push the contest into overtime. After Georgia kicked a field goal on its first overtime possession, the Crimson Tide connected on a game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass to capture their fifth national championship in nine years.
During his time at Antioch High School, Harris racked up 7,948 yards on the ground, which is the fourth-highest total in California high school football history, according to the University of Alabama. In his senior season alone, Harris rushed for 36 touchdowns.