Darrian Miller Returns to Kansas


Oct 8, 2011; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys linebacker Shaun Lewis (11) trips up Kansas Jayhawks running back Darrian Miller (3) during the 2nd quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

Sixteen months after being kicked off the Kansas Jayhawks football team as part of head coach Charlie Weis program-wide house cleaning, running back Darrian Miller will return to the team.

“We constantly research special situations concerning transfer students,” Weis said is a statement released by the Kansas Athletic department. “Each situation is unique. Occasionally through our due diligence we find a player who fits. This was the case with both Darrian and Nick (Harwell). We believe both young men are prepared to thrive at Kansas on and off the field.”

Miller marks the second player to be released by Weis only to have them return. Defensive back Dexter McDonald was cut due to poor academic standing with the university and was forced to play junior college ball at Butler Community College while trying to pick up his grades. He was re-recruited back to Kansas this season.

The case was different for Miller who was let go because of off-field and maturity issues and not because of academics. Miller attended Butler County Community College in 2012 but did not appear in a game.

“Coach Weis is giving me an opportunity to rejoin the Kansas football team with stipulations,” Miller said. “When I left Kansas after the 2011 season, I was in good academic standing. I was dismissed for off-the-field issues that I take full accountability for. I made mistakes as a freshman that not only led to my dismissal, but hurt the Kansas football team. I regret this happened, but I have learned a great life lesson during this ordeal.”

Miller, 5-10, 190 pounds, rushed for 559 yards and four touchdowns in his true freshman season in 2011, the final year of Turner Gill. In 2011 he was rated as the number one prospect in the state of Missouri and 22nd running back in the country after rushing for a Missouri big-class career record 6,565 yards at Blue Springs.

Because of the return of senior running back James Sims and junior Tony Pierson, Miller may not be much of a factor on the field this season. However, Miller has three years of eligibility remaining which provides Kansas with a replacement at running back after Sims graduates. Weis has expressed the desire to play Pierson in a Tavon Austin type of role, which would require a certain level of running back depth this season and a starting running back for next season. Miller provides both of those things for Kansas.

Adding Miller only heightens the intrigue around the Kansas football program. Between Sims, who led the Big 12 in rushing yards per game, Pierson, who was seventh in yards per game and second in yards per carry in the Big 12, and Miller, the Jayhawks have some players who can cause damage in the open field. The question now is whether or not the passing game can exist, let alone be productive.