What Les Miles saw from his players in first fall practice
Kansas football coach Les Miles has added a talented walk-on to his roster ... in the form of his youngest son.
Ben Miles, a 6-1, 210-pound sophomore fullback, has officially joined the program after transferring in from Texas A&M.
“He came from a place of pretty talented players. I think he helps in a bunch of ways,” Les said after his team’s first fall practice Friday. “I think he comes with a right disposition. I think he’s a football player. I think he’s a competitor. Talent ... we’ll have to see. I think he’s pretty talented.”
The recruiting services would agree with Les.
A three-star Rivals recruit in 2017, Ben ranked then as the third-best fullback in the nation. He started his career with a redshirt year at Nebraska before transferring to Texas A&M, where he played one game last season.
Ben will be immediately eligible to play at KU, as the NCAA has passed legislation allowing athletes who were not on athletic scholarship at their previous schools to compete right away after transferring.
Other fullbacks on KU’s roster include Hudson Hall, Sam Schroeder and Spencer Roe. Hall has the most experience, playing in 19 games the last two seasons.
“(Ben) has got some guys that are pretty talented that are around him,” Les said. “He’s got to step in there and be the guy.”
It’s likely, though, that KU will provide more opportunity for fullbacks than many other programs. Les has often talked about his desire to instill physical football with the Jayhawks, and involving a fullback would seem to fit well with that philosophy.
Les also smiled Friday when a reporter indicated KU hadn’t gone under center or huddled up as a primary part of its offense in about a decade.
“We’re going to break that record,” Les said.
Ben becomes the second of Les’ sons to join the team; quarterback Manny, who will be a senior, comes to KU as a walk-on from North Carolina.
Les spoke more about Manny during Big 12 media days last month.
“Manny’s role on the team is backup quarterback, put himself in a position to compete, help in every way he can, be a great teammate,” Les said. “He can hold (for kicks), and he can throw and he can think. There’s going to be some fun for Manny at some point in time.”
Les admitted being around both of his sons during Friday’s practice was a gratifying experience.
“I went to grab one of them and started teaching, and I said, ‘Oh no, this is my son.’ I didn’t know if it was exactly what I should do, or, ‘Hey, somebody else coach this kid, would ya?’” Les said with a smile. “But it’s a joy, to be honest with you. They get no advantage, but it’s fun for dad to see the big boys running around competing.”