Freshman Simeon Harris set to join competition at corner for CU Buffs

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Jun. 11—Throughout the spring, as Simeon Harris was finishing high school, he kept hearing how well Colorado's young cornerbacks were playing in practice.

As a young corner set to join the Buffaloes this summer, Harris got excited.

"It was good seeing them and watching them compete and all of that," Harris said prior to leaving for Boulder on Saturday. "It should be a good group of guys when we're all in there in the room. It's gonna be a lot of competition. Yes (we're young) and we're all scrappy. We all love to compete. It's gonna be fun."

Harris will be one of four true freshmen corners for the Buffs this season, along with Keyshon Mills, Jason Oliver and Joshua Wiggins. Oliver and Wiggins got to CU in January and went through practices.

The cornerback room also includes true sophomores Kaylin Moore and Nikko Reed, third-year sophomore Toren Pittman and junior Nigel Bethel Jr.

"It's gonna be a lot of great competition," Harris said. "I'm not shying away from any anything, so I'm ready for all of that."

A 6-foot, 180-pound corner from Benicia High School in Vallejo, Calif., Harris is one of 19 newcomers set to join the Buffs, who begin summer workouts this week.

"I'm excited about it," he said. "I'm not really nervous. I'm just really pumped up to get out there and get ready to play. I've been waiting to get back on the field for a long time now. So being in that environment should be great."

Harris, who signed his letter of intent in December, was rated a three-star prospect by recruiting services. He played corner and receiver at Benicia. As a senior, he caught 39 passes for 602 yards and nine touchdowns, while adding 40 tackles, three tackles for loss and two interceptions on defense. A shoulder injury cut his season short, but he's healthy now.

"Besides the shoulder injury, yeah I was (pleased with the season)," he said. "I was pleased how I played on offense and special teams. Defensively, no one really threw the ball my way."

When Harris committed to CU in July, he expected to play for cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin. About a week after signing day, however, Martin left for Oregon. The Buffs later hired Rod Chance — formerly of Oregon — to coach the corners.

"Luckily, he recruited me when he was at Oregon, so I had already got a feel for him and knew who he was and how he coaches," Harris said. "We had some conversations and especially during spring ball, we talked a lot — seeing how he coaches and what we're going to be running and things of that nature, it should be fun."

In the nearly six months since signing day, Harris has spent time developing that relationship with Chance, but also getting himself mentally and physically ready for the biggest change of his life.

"Mentally, just accepting the fact that I'm going to be away from home and I'm playing in a new environment, more competition," he said. "It's really getting my body right, my mind right, things like that.

"I've been training every day, doing some speed training, strength training, getting my body prepared for conditioning and all that."

This summer, Harris said he's eager to build relationships with teammates, coaches, tutors and academic advisors. He's also eager to get better through the summer workout program.

"It's really getting faster and learning the technique that (Chance) is gonna teach," he said. "I'm just excited to play football. That's what I'm really ready for, playing football. That's what I signed up for, so that's what I want to do."