Nick Harwell likely to be big hit for Kansas football, based on performances of other recent transfers from four-year schools


Dayne Crist, Anthony McDonald and Mike Ragone from Notre Dame. Jake Heaps from Brigham Young. Josh Williams from Nebraska.

All five were highly rated out of high school and for various reasons were not able to either earn or keep starting assignments at their original colleges.

Based on those five transfers’ performances for Kansas under Charlie Weis, expect big things from Miami (Ohio) transfer wide receiver Nick Harwell. Why? Because the others performed at a similar level at Kansas as they had at their first schools.

The lesson to be learned: It’s generally not the school, the coach, or the system that keeps a player from excelling. It’s how his ability translates to college competition and the degree to which his body holds up. Obviously, how they do against college competition is a far greater predictor of success than how highly they were ranked in high school.

In three seasons at Miami, Harwell averaged 76.3 receptions, 1,055.3 yards and 7.6 touchdowns. In 11 games as a sophomore, Harwell caught 97 passes for 1,425 yards and nine touchdowns. In a five-game stretch that ended with the 2012 season-opener, he caught 55 passes for 867 yards and eight touchdowns.

No need to worry whether he can handle Big 12 competition. Harwell played two games against Big 10 schools. His combined totals vs. Minnesota and Ohio State: 20 receptions, 282 yards, one TD.

Harwell was suspended by Miami last April after he was arrested. He ultimately pled guilty to attempted theft, a second-degree misdemeanor. He is eligible to play in 2014.

To put his numbers in perspective, consider KU’s TD reception leaders from the wide receiver position the past four seasons: 2010: Daymond Patterson and Johnathan Wilson, two; 2011: D.J. Beshears and JaCorey Shepherd three; 2012: None; 2013: Rodriguez Coleman, Justin McCay, Tony Pierson, Andrew Turzilli, one.

Despite book-ending his junior season with multiple drops, tight end Jimmay Mundine had five of the team’s nine TD catches.


David A. Smith 4 years, 6 months ago

Very good point. The best indicator of future performance is past performance.

Jim Jackson 4 years, 6 months ago

I would love to see what TJ Millweard can do to help us at QB

Michael Maris 4 years, 6 months ago

Keegs, we can only hope that your article comes true.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 6 months ago

If what you have written is true [and, frankly, it is hard to dispute] , why take any transfers if there is no hope for improvement by entering a different situation? Unless, of course, it is an upgrade in talent, even if it's from awful to mediocre.

I am interested in next season, however, since there are a number of transfers that will be eligible and that we will have a full time OC for an entire season.

David A.Smith's comment sends a chill down my spine regarding the future of Kansas Football, however!!!!!!!

Dillon Davis 4 years, 6 months ago

"Based on those five transfers’ performances for Kansas under Charlie Weis, expect big things from Miami (Ohio) transfer wide receiver Nick Harwell. Why? Because the others performed at a similar level at Kansas as they had at their first schools."

Those guys were terrible here. If anything, they did worse than at their previous schools. I wish they would've performed here like they did at their previous schools. After all the transfer flops we've had the last two years with our QBs and our "Dream Team" player, I'm extremely hesitant to put any kind of hope into yet another transfer. I hope he proves me wrong.

Tom Keegan 4 years, 6 months ago

That's my point. They weren't good here because they weren't good at their previous schools. You're right in saying "if anything, they did worse than at their previous schools." They went to a worse team, had less talent around them. Harwell was really, really good at his previous school, which means he projects to be really good for KU, which means, one less "really" than at Miami. You don't have to go all the way back to high school to find stardom in his past.

Kevin Randell 4 years, 6 months ago

In the world of sports where each team has a new slogan that they put on wrist bracelets or t-shirts. I think our Jayhawks wide receiver corp should summon the spirit of Patches O'Houlihan and it be "Catch the Damn Ball"! Looking forward to next year!

Doug Cramer 4 years, 6 months ago

As long as Charlie Weis is head's probably best not to inject KU sports dot com viewers with anymore kool-aid. This program is down to the same levels seen during the Terry Allen years. If we ever get a coach that does 1: instill discipline in our performance...and 2: teach our players how to play intelligently...and 3: recruit some talent in the trenches.....then I'll start drinking your kool-aid.

As far as Harwell is concerned.....I have one message for him...prove it on the field. No kool aid...just freaking get on the field and show us that he is that "big hit" that Keegs thinks he is.

I said the same thing about Jimmay Mundine 3 years ago. Get on the field next fall and prove it.

Roger Tobias 4 years, 6 months ago

All I want out of KU Football for the foreseeable future is: underpromise and overdeliver. If only the team were as good as the athletic marketing department.

Erich Hartmann 4 years, 6 months ago

Chin #1 was in perfect harmony with chin #2 on this prediction...I agree that Harwell should shine for KU as he proved he could catch at the college level very well indeed. He + Pierson are going to make Heaps truly look like the 5star he is.

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