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Harris explodes, Scarbrough struggles in A-Day scrimmage

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Harris explodes, Scarbrough struggles in A-Day scrimmage

Robert Sutton

Robert Sutton

Robert Sutton

Running back Bo Scarbrough at spring practice on April 1, 2016.

Matthew Speakman

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Heading into spring football, Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough received a lot of hype after coaches and players alike raved about his talent. However, in Alabama’s A-Day game, another running back grabbed all of the attention. 

Sophomore Damien Harris won the A-Day MVP after a 114-yard performance on 20 carries in the White team’s 7-3 victory. Playing for the White team, Harris found a lot of running room early, tallying up 91 yards in the first half against the second team defense. 

“Harris had a nice day,” said head coach Nick Saban. “He looked quick and explosive and did a nice job.”

Scarbrough did not have the day that many would expect him to, only gaining 20 yards during the game. A lot of his performance can be chalked up to the defense that he was playing against. Harris went up against the second string, while Scarbrough had to face the first team defense, which only gave up 75 yards per game on the ground last season.

Despite his low totals, senior Dalvin Tomlinson said that Scarbrough brings it every time he touches the ball.

“He [Scarbrough] always runs as hard as he can,” Tomlinson said. “Every time you go against Bo he always runs his hardest. Sometimes he will break out for a 60 yard run and sometimes he will break out for a five [yard run], it just depends on how good our defense is playing day-to-day.”

Scarbrough did struggle to find running room for most of the day, with the defensive line surging into the back field on almost every down. The line broke through on many of the running plays and stuffed him. When he did find room, it was quickly shut down by the defense.

Running against a first team Alabama defense is tough sledding and Tomlinson believes that Scrabrough is still going to break out this season.

“He is going to have some pretty explosive plays in the upcoming season,” Tomlinson said. “Just like the rest of the running backs, explosive at any moment.” 

Harris captured most of the spotlight for the day. He got off to a quick start, running for 41 yards on his first six carries. As a guy who did not get that much action last year behind Kenyan Drake and Derrick Henry, he finally got the chance to show his skills during the spring game.

He was the main catalyst that sparked the white team’s offense in the first half. Junior Cam Sims said that today’s performance was just another day at the office for Harris.

“Damien [Harris], he gets done what we have to get done,” Sims said.

The Crimson defense struggled to contain Harris for much of the first half. Junior Rashaan Evans, who played on the defense that was trying to stop Harris, said that this performance will carry over into the season.

“He did very well,” Evans said. “He is a great back and I know he will do great this fall.”

One other running back saw the field for the Crimson Tide, Derrick Gore carried the ball three times for 12 yards. While many believed that Scarbrough would be the main guy in the Crimson Tide’s backfield, it looks like other backs will have the opportunity to step up and impact the running game. 

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Harris explodes, Scarbrough struggles in A-Day scrimmage