Najee Harris or Aubrey Solomon?

Submitted by BlueLikeJazz on August 11th, 2017 at 12:27 PM

With today's recruiting review of my favorite commit in the 2017 class, O'Maury Samuels, I'm reminded of the Najee Harris Soap Opera back in January. Going on concurrently was the rival soap, As Aubrey Solomon Turns. Looking back, if you had to choose, would you prefer we got Harris or Solomon? (obviously both, but that's not the game)

For me it's a no-brainer. I think O'Maury Samuels is going to be an exceptional RB, and the team is already well-stocked at the position. Not only is DT a greater area of immediate need, I think Solomon is going to be a much better college player than Harris. 

If you could choose, who would you rather have ended up in this class?



August 11th, 2017 at 12:31 PM ^

I'd take Solomon, assuming both play to their max potential. A running back still needs a semi-functional O line. A DT can be dominant on his own. 

(I still wish we could have had both).

Late Bluemer

August 11th, 2017 at 12:46 PM ^

We have a good stable of running backs.  If / when the OLine improves we will be fine.

DLine depth is critical and a dominant DT can be a game changer.  I think back to the dominant Miami teams of the past and it seems like they always had a superstar like Warren Sapp, Jerome Brown or Cortez Kennedy in the middle of their line.  To me, that was the position that defined those great teams. 

I hope that Michigan, w/ guys like Solomon or even Gary, can become that type of team.


August 11th, 2017 at 2:46 PM ^

no doubt.  i like the miami example.  they were loaded all over and recruited great everywhere but DL always caused problems.  similar to bama of recent past with elite D led by dominant DL and stable of pro prospects (though bama seems to have an all american at all 3 levels most every year which is crazy)


August 11th, 2017 at 12:30 PM ^

I would also choose Solomon, but I don't think I'd use the term well-stocked at the RB position. We have a handful of decent backs, but nothing close to some of our late 80s/90s teams. Those were "well stocked".


August 11th, 2017 at 1:33 PM ^

It is a pretty simple answer, to be fair. Having said that (and although I did say Solomon is a no-brainer), I think some are underestimating the value of an elite RB, especially behind a decent OL. There's a chance Harris could've come in and immediately been the #1 back, and been very good (don't forget he enrolled early). I just think the VORP is higher for Solomon on this particular team.



August 11th, 2017 at 3:48 PM ^

Because I've seen them play and I'm rational. Saying we are stocked at RB as a way to say we really don't need Harris is a false way to look at it. Lots of emotional heros on the board today.

I hope Evans is a stud. I hope Higdon surprises. I hope Samuels has a huge frosh year. But my definition of stocked seems quite different than some of you.

Our top returning RBs last year had 628, 444, and 423 yards last year. Harris may have that combined this year. Stocked to me would be two guys getting to around 800 yards each. That is what I would consider a stocked RB position. If any positions can be considered "stocked" this year it would be WR and DL.

Carry on.


August 11th, 2017 at 12:35 PM ^

If they both hit their ceilings, then the answer is pretty objective: Solomon is more important.

It is by far more important/beneficial to have a dominant DL than RB. You can win a championship with B running backs. It's really hard to do so with a B dline.


August 11th, 2017 at 12:40 PM ^

I also agree that Solomon is probably the right choice

a) Because of the backs on the roster
b) Because of positional value
c) Because of the potential to land a 5 star back in the 2019 class

But I would just like to point out that Harris is getting pretty rave reviews in camp. He's still going to be a beast.


August 11th, 2017 at 12:53 PM ^

I disagree. It usually take Bama backs a year or two to find their footing and then when things clear out in front of them, then they get their opportunity.

But that aside, Bama uses sharing carries as one of their biggest selling points. Damien Harris and Bo Scarborough both averaged fewer than 10 carries a game last year and both crested over 800 yards. They get enough action to signal to the NFL that they're good, while saving their bodies for paid carries. It's a win-win.

Blue in Paradise

August 11th, 2017 at 1:18 PM ^

and you are not wrong.  He could be in a 2 man split with Josh Jacbos in 2018; however, Bama could sign 3 more 5* backs in the next 2 years and relegate Harris to permanaent backup status. 

The BJ Emmons transfer helps him out a bit and Bama is off to a slow start in terms of 2018 recruiting - although I'm sure they will be in the top 5 by signing day.

Blue in Paradise

August 11th, 2017 at 2:10 PM ^

Ok - I admit I am just being a d!ck here.  90% of Bama 5*s work out and go to the NFL.  However, it does show that having a 3 deep of 5*s at one position is ridiculous since it means that guys that could start at 99% of P5 programs waste most of their college careers sitting on the bench for 3 years.

Hand will probably blow up this year and get drafted in top 3 rounds but he is in a precarious situation whereby he only has 1 year to start and show out for the NFL.  If he had chosen any other school, he would likely already be in the NFL counting his millions.

Also, not sure that Najee is more talented than any RB in the next 2 classes - he was just ok at the Army game last year and there were a couple of guys that looked head and tails better than him (especially Cam Akers).

Blue in Paradise

August 11th, 2017 at 4:10 PM ^

But it is the only time we can see these guys play against equal competition before they get to campus.

Not saying it is a be all, end all for projection college success; however, I think it's fair to say that Akers and Eno Benjamin looked better than Harris in that game.  Akers looked like the best player on the field that day.


Blue in Paradise

August 11th, 2017 at 12:42 PM ^

DT a much bigger position of need in the 2017 class.  Now, if you had to choose between Cam Akers and Aubrey Solomon, that is a tougher call.

Look for Akers to be in the Heisman race this year and win it before he bolts for the NFL.

Year of Revenge II

August 11th, 2017 at 12:45 PM ^

Since we got Solomon, it's Solomon, and that is probably the correct answer regardless.  However, this thread would look a lot different if we got Najee and Solomon was at GA, don't you think?


August 11th, 2017 at 12:50 PM ^

This question is rife with all sorts of cognitive biases. Is anyone really going to pick Harris? Alternatively, if we had got Harris and not Solomon, would anyone really pick Solomon? We would all be talking about the "f- Michigan" thing, the need for a 5* back, our existing talent on the d line, and pick Harris.

This seems to be a convoluted way to praise Samuels. Praising Samuels is great, but why not just be direct?