Monday, April 9, 2018

He’s got some dog in him’: Freshman CB Corione Harris makes great first impression

Kansas cornerback Corione Harris chases down a target during practice on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

Kansas cornerback Corione Harris chases down a target during practice on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.


Sure, the rest of the Kansas football team knew the name Corione Harris long before the four-star cornerback from Louisiana enrolled in classes and joined the program in January.

But it was on the final Wednesday of March, at Harris’ first college practice, when the Jayhawks finally received a proper introduction.

During one particular period, KU’s quarterbacks threw hitch after hitch to their targets. It didn’t take long for Harris to squat on the routes — or for the QBs to notice the freshman corner’s tactic.

The offense countered with a go route, and when senior Peyton Bender released a deep ball Harris appeared to be on the wrong end of a welcome-to-college initiation.

Except the 6-foot-1, 180-pound gem of KU football’s 2018 recruiting class found his bearings, caught up with the receiver who had just beat him near the line of scrimmage and picked Bender’s pass out of the air.

“He ran right with the guy and made a nice play on it,” Bender recounted.

The same first impression stuck with redshirt junior QB Carter Stanley, too, when asked what jumped out most about the Jayhawks’ shiny new defensive back, who graduated from Landry-Walker High, in New Orleans, early in order to join KU’s ranks months ahead of most freshmen.

“He seems like the real deal,” Stanley said.

Fourth-year KU coach David Beaty warns the team remains in the early installation stages of spring, and he wants to see how Harris handles what’s yet to come. Still, Beaty admitted he enjoys watching the long-armed, speedy corner from Marrero, La., make the types of plays for which the staff recruited him. What’s more, Harris, by all accounts, has the mentality needed to survive as a defensive back in the Big 12.

“Corione, I think the thing that Corione brings to the table that I like the most is he's got some dog in him,” Beaty said. “He's a corner, and he's got some dog in him. He likes to hit you just as much as he likes to cover you, and he's athletic as all get out. The kid's got some ability that a lot of them don't have, where he can make a fundamental mistake and his speed and his quickness allows him to make up for it.”

The first thing Bender noticed about Harris was his speed, for sure. But the freshman that associate head coach Tony Hull helped bring to KU from “The Boot” has done much more in the practices that followed his debut and jaw-dropping interception.

“He also just brings a lot of energy to practice. He’s a real enthusiastic player,” Bender shared, “so that always makes it fun. He brings positive energy.”

Sophomore Kansas QB Miles Kendrick joined the program at the same time as Harris, and lauded the young corner’s passion for the game, as well as his work ethic. Those qualities also shape what Harris is capable of when a pass heads his way.

Kendrick has thrown in the direction of the highest-rated recruit from KU’s incoming class enough to provide a detailed scouting report.

“He’s long. But despite being long and lanky, he is very quick,” Kendrick attested. “Plays the ball really well, is really aggressive. Doesn’t shy away from contact. He’s just a football player, even though people may think he’s undersized right now. He’s still young. He still has a long time to grow and a long time to play. His feel for the game, his abilities, they’re all there. Elite ability. Elite play-making, ball skills, everything.”

As excited as Harris’ teammates seem about his potential, Beaty, for now, is holding off on assessing what the touted freshman could mean for the Jayhawks’ in-season product this coming fall.

“Now it's so early, it's so hard to tell,” Beaty said, “but the very first day you could tell something was different about that guy. You could tell.”


Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 2 months ago

Let's just wait for the season to start. We've seen these articles before. Mike Lee Dom Williams admittedly had big learning curves. Pure talent doesn't always exceed experience. Like any freshman he is going to have growing pains. Let's just let him get his bearings on the field and see what happens and hope for the best. Fingers crossed.

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 2 months ago

The fingers crossed technique seems to be what the coaching staff has employed for the past three years. Get people in and cross-fingers hoping they don't need much coaching to become successful.

Michael Maris 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm curious to see how the "Red Shirt" year helped Robert Topps. He's a lengthy CB candidate as well. Perhaps, the Jayhawks will have 2 CB's with size to compete against the Big XII Top Tier WR's. As always, time will tell.

Lance Cheney 1 year, 2 months ago

They didn't mention that Bender underthrew the pass, and that's why Harris was able to catch up and intercept it. Or at least that's how I imagine it went down.

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 2 months ago

No doubt Harris is gonna be a stud, but I think Elijah Jones will be pretty good too. He's tall for a CB which if he's quick enough can be a problem for other teams.

[''] 1 year, 2 months ago

Question from another story that ran last week --

So apparently a FB on the team has gained 40 lbs in the last year! 40???? Seriously??!! Are we trying to turn him into a lineman or what? We need a profile on this kid.

Joe Ross 1 year, 2 months ago

"...he's got some dog in him."

These Beatyisms are hard to swallow from a coach who can't coach. Don't know why I find them so irritating. Maybe the colorful verbiage is a substitute for plain speak intended to generate enthusiasm in a vacuum that would exist otherwise.

Yes, I realize that might be a little to harsh. Just tired of the whole hope-and-failure routine that has settled like a fog on Kansas football.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 2 months ago

very well put how made me a fog.

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 2 months ago

This story reminds me of Mike Lee...came in as a promising 4 star recruit on defense. He started immediately and looked like a shining star to be, then about 1.5 years of coaching, they benched him.

Illustrations of the coaching potential that Beaty and company brings. I could see C. Harris pull the same trick...really good raw talent, but the coaching will not improve his capabilities.

Bryson Stricker 1 year, 2 months ago

Jeff, they benched him for literally 2 minutes and their reasoning behind it worked.

Come on...

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 2 months ago

Not quite, but point taken. Remember the coaching staff moved him away from his natural position and maybe was to build on his natural talents, but did not teach him the techniques that would further his abilities at that position. He struggled at his new role more because they relied on his natural abilities and not on teaching proper technique.

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