Steelers’ Najee Harris has memorable first impression of Pittsburgh: ‘It looks like Alice in Wonderland’


Most everyone who visits Pittsburgh remembers their initial view. While you can’t see the city upon driving into Fort Pitt Tunnel, the other side of the tunnel offers a breathtaking view of a city known for its scenic skyline, rolling hills and the three rivers that meet at the center. 

Najee Harris, the Steelers‘ first-round pick in the 2021 draft, had never visited Pittsburgh before flying there less than 24 hours after being drafted. The former Alabama standout running back and California native didn’t hide his first impressions of Pittsburgh upon exiting Fort Pitt Tunnel. 

“Oh, that’s clean,” Harris said before spotting Heinz Field on his left. “There it is, right there? Oh, that’s nice as hell! It looks like Alice in Wonderland out here.” 

Harris’ first day in Pittsburgh included a ride up the famed Duquesne Incline. He also had a chance to see Heinz Field up close for the first time. 

“The view of everything, I can see why people really like this place,” Harris said. “Boy, this is beautiful.” 

Steelers fans were singing similar praises of Harris after the Steelers made him their first running back selected in the first round since 2008. Harris, who eschewed declaring for the draft last year in order to improve his draft stock as well as to try to win another national title, accomplished both of his goals. The nation’s leader in rushing touchdowns (26) and total touchdowns (30), Harris won the Doak Walker Award, given annually to college football‘s best running back. He also helped lead Alabama to its sixth national championship under Nick Saban. 

Harris is hoping to make a similar impact in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers are looking to improve a rushing attack that finished 32nd in the league in 2020. Along with Harris, the Steelers used a third-round pick on former Illinois center Kendrick Green and a fourth-round pick on former Texas A&M offensive tackle Dan Moore. They also spent a second-round pick on former Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth, who will look to replace Vance McDonald’s blocking and catching prowess. 

While he never visited Pittsburgh prior to Friday, Harris said the Steelers — along with his hometown 49ers — were one of the teams he watched growing up. He is hoping to add his name to the list of previously successful Steelers running backs that includes Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis and Le’Veon Bell

“One thing about the Steelers, [the offense] has always evolved around the running game,” Harris said. “I always thought it would be a perfect fit to be there.” 





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