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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Refreshing’ freshmen: Corione Harris and Pooka Williams welcome chance to represent KU football

University of Kansas football players Corione Harris (No. 2) and Pooka Williams (No. 1) sign autographs for fans at the KU Kickoff event in Prairie Village, on Aug. 17, 2018.

University of Kansas football players Corione Harris (No. 2) and Pooka Williams (No. 1) sign autographs for fans at the KU Kickoff event in Prairie Village, on Aug. 17, 2018.

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When two small buses filled with Kansas football players pulled into the Corinth Square parking lot in Prairie Village Friday night for the athletic department’s KU Kickoff event, freshman Corione Harris was the first to leap out.

The smiling cornerback from New Orleans didn’t pause to find his bearings or wait to follow the lead of a veteran Jayhawk. Harris made a beeline for the crowd, eager to interact with fans and sign autographs at the pep rally.

Both Harris and fellow Louisiana native and freshman Pooka Williams, the two four-star standouts from KU’s 2018 recruiting class, proved to be a couple of the most popular players at the fan-friendly event.

From posing for photos to shaking hands and introducing themselves to the Kansas City area supporters, the touted freshmen basked in all the party had to offer.

“(Harris) and Pooka, their personalities are infectious,” head coach David Beaty said of their ability to dive headfirst into mingling with the program’s backers. “They really do love everything about KU. That’s why they wanted to come here. They fell in love with the place, they fell in love with the people.”

At one point not long after arriving at the rally, their coach said the two of them just ran up to Beaty quickly to thank him for choosing them as two of the team’s 21 player representatives for the night.

“It is so much different from what they came from,” Beaty said of why he thought the freshmen so thoroughly embraced the whole scene. “They just haven’t gotten to experience a lot like that and they appreciate it, which is refreshing.”

Harris and Williams, like all freshmen in the program, aren’t made available for interviews. They are by far the two most hyped prospects to join KU this year, and due to their high standing in national recruiting rankings — Rivals had Williams 178th in the country and Harris 105th — they enter the season with many more eyes on them than your average KU football freshman any given year.

Beaty thinks their general outlook toward everything they do should help alleviate pressure and better set them up to succeed.

“They are not afraid to compete,” KU’s fourth-year coach said. “They have a lot of confidence in their abilities but they also are very personable guys.”

According to Beaty, he associates them most with their love for football.

“If this game got taken away from them, it would be hard on them. It doesn’t happen that way for everybody, but for them you can see the love,” Beaty said. “They don’t leave (KU’s football facility). When other people do, they don’t. They love being there. And it’s refreshing.”

Comments

Jeff Coffman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Wouldn't it be nice if we had a coach that would periodically talk to the press, open up an occasional practice, show the scrimmages (especially since the spring game was cancelled) or do something to connect with the press during the pre-season, so that as a fan base we would have articles that got us a little more excited about the season?

I'm guessing because he isn't doing anything except the contractually required, we aren't going to get too much. Less than two weeks and Beaty barely communicates. The fan support is dropping even more, it just is time to move on from him.

Doug Merrill 2 months, 3 weeks ago

That's an odd take away from an article that was entirely about the excitement of the fans and the availability of the players.

Jeff Coffman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Interesting...after 2 days of this event, we have a scrimmage, we have practices, we have all this going on, and all we get is a story about a punter. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story and do appreciate those stories, but it was based on previous information and stats from last year.

All i'm saying is if this is basketball season we would be getting 2-3 stories a day. In any other football program we would be getting all of these stories and rundowns of every person on the roster. Right now, all we are waiting for is an evaluation by Vollmar.

It doesn't seem like Beaty even tries to connect anymore.

Mike Hart 2 months, 3 weeks ago

And if there WERE stories, you would just consider that fresh material for you to bash Beaty at every turn, like you always do, Coffman...so stop acting like the wistful "fan" of the program.

[''] 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Two talented young men -- whose talents will be squandered until Beaty moves on --

Bryson Stricker 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Jeff, you’re welcome to check out Scott Chasen from 247sports or Jon Kirby of Rivals. Scott puts out 3-4 football articles daily, JK puts out content or updates about twice a day.

Jerry Ryan 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Hard to believe a coach would cut back on communication, open practices etc. when the home town newspaper goes on a personal vendetta against the coach and “phans” on message boards openly root against recruits and players.... I’m shocked as everyone

Steven Haag 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Amen Jerry. Posters post hate at every chance they get, and then hate it that they aren’t getting enough chances. Shocking!!!!

[''] 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Says Beaty's cousin Steve/BryBry....

Edward Daub 2 months, 3 weeks ago

As Dick Vitale would "Gush" , Coe and Pooka are True "Diaper Dandies"!

I Trust the KU Band is practicing David Allan Coe's Song "The Ride"!

Great to See that KU Fans got a "Sneak Peak" at the Speedster Williams!

Harris and Pooka will be Pivotal in Defeating the Colonels from their Home State?

I sure hope so, The Proof will be in the Pudding on September 1.

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