Wide receiver Nick Harwell, who was dismissed from Miami (Ohio) this spring, is transferring to Kansas, where he could provide a significant jolt to an offense that struggled considerably last season. Harwell was the Mid-American Conference's leading receiver in 2012 and stands as one of the most prolific receivers in Redhawks history.
While his talents are evident enough, Harwell brings a troubled past to Lawrence. He was arrested in late March and charged with criminal damaging, theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle/vehicle trespass in an incident that apparently involved an ex-girlfriend. That led to a suspension and his eventual dismissal. He pleaded guilty to attempted theft -- a second-degree misdemeanor -- on May 9 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, though 89 of those were suspended.
Despite the legal issues, Kansas was willing to take a chance on him, and the reason for that is clear enough -- the Jayhawks' offense needs all the help it can get after finishing last season ranked 113th among FBS schools in passing yardage per game and 120th in passing efficiency. Harwell had more touchdown receptions (8) than the entire Kansas team (7) in 2012. KU also lost its leading receiver to graduation.
Harwell is reportedly close to graduating, and if he indeed does earn a degree, he would be eligible to play in 2013 as a graduate transfer. For now, though, his status is uncertain:
It is unclear whether Harwell, who is close to graduating thanks to a year of prep school in 2009, will be eligible for the upcoming season. KU officials said the following Wednesday night: "Nick Harwell's eligibility is to be determined as the Compliance and Academic staff work through the process."
Harwell finished his Miami career with more than 3,100 yards receiving.