Suspended from the Kansas football team since January, following an arrest, cornerback Corione Harris’ future with the program remains unresolved.
Fielding questions from reporters for the first time since the team got started with preseason practices on July 31, KU head coach Les Miles said Thursday Harris is “working to untangle himself in this legal web.”
According to court records, Harris was arrested in Howell County, Mo., on Jan. 19,and faces felony charges for delivery of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a weapon.
Harris is currently slated to have a plea hearing on Sept. 11, the day before the Jayhawks’ season opener versus Coastal Carolina.
“I think at some point in time he’ll be with more knowledge, and what we’re looking for from him is his finishing of his responsibilities and for him to be untangled,” Miles said. “If that’s the case we might add him to our roster and bring him with us. If that’s not the case, we’ll move on.”
KU’s official online roster still lists Harris, a junior from New Orleans.
Harris also was arrested in October of 2019 in Missouri on suspicion of failure to appear, after receiving a speeding ticket.
Harris spent time as a starting cornerback for KU each of the past two seasons, after arriving in Lawrence as a touted four-star prospect in the class of 2018.
During his sophomore season in 2019, Harris started six games. He missed the final three games of the season due to injury. In his nine appearances, Harris made 15 total tackles and broke up two passes.
Don’t expect Miles to name KU’s starting quarterback anytime soon.
The Jayhawks still have more than three weeks of practice before their opener, and Miles said he generally prefers waiting until that debut game is closer to land on a No. 1 QB.
In terms of the ongoing competition, Miles named senior Thomas MacVittie, junior Miles Kendrick and junior walk-on Miles Fallin before saying KU has “a number of guys” whom he expects to work and improve.
Months ago, when offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brent Dearmon last spoke with media members, he identified MacVittie and Kendrick as the likely top contenders for the starting job.
In 2019, his first year at KU, MacVittie was a reserve QB and lined up at receiver twice. His one pass attempt, on a failed trick play at Oklahoma State, got intercepted.
Kendrick didn’t play in any games for the Jayhawks in 2019, after making four appearances as a backup in 2018, when he completed 11 of 19 passes for 100 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Fallin is from Canyon Country, Calif., where he last saw significant game action as a prep in 2016. Fallin started in 31 consecutive games for Canyon High during his three varsity seasons, passing for 6,887 yards and 61 touchdowns in his high school career.
Although some prominent college football players have decided against playing during the COVID-19 pandemic, KU’s star junior running back didn’t give that idea much thought.
Asked if he considered opting out of the season, Pooka Williams dismissed the notion.
“Nah, I want to play football,” said Williams, KU’s two-time 1,000-yard rusher.
Players who have opted out so far include LSU defensive back Kary Vincent, Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks, Ole Miss starting center Eli Johnson, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley and Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson.
While discussing how COVID-19 has changed aspects of life for the KU football program, Miles recalled when he first heard about the virus starting to take a toll in China.
“It isn’t gonna get here!” Miles exclaimed, reenacting his thoughts at the time. “This is the United States. It’s a long way from China.”
“China has really changed our society. From fast food to all the different changes that you’re required to make (due to the pandemic),” Miles continued. “And you do so to enjoy your lifestyle and the things that you’re doing. I want you to know something: COVID-19 made a lot of adjustments in this style of life that we’re living. And I’m glad that we have a chance to play a football season at this point in time, because I think it makes it more normal. I think everybody wants to see football take the field.”