LAWRENCE — Football is family for Les Miles, and now, so is Kansas.

Quite literally.

Miles and the Jayhawks this week added fullback Ben Miles, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound sophomore and former Texas A&M walk-on who will serve in that same capacity at KU. The head coach’s son joins brother Manny (senior quarterback), sisters Smacker and Macy and mother Kathy as members of the Miles family to make the trek to Lawrence ahead of Year 1.

It all makes for a somewhat surreal experience for Les Miles, who used an example at a recent practice — the Jayhawks reported for camp Thursday — to highlight the dynamic.

“I went to grab one of ’em and started teaching and I said, ‘Oh Lord, this is my son.’ I didn’t know if it was exactly what I should do or, hey, somebody else coach this kid, will you?” Miles said with a laugh. “But it’s a joy to be honest with you. They get no advantage, but it’s fun for Dad to see those two big boys running around competing.”

Ben Miles, who had a redshirt season at Nebraska before transferring to Texas A&M, will be immediately eligible for KU. Slotted by ESPN as the No. 22-ranked prospect in Louisiana in the Class of 2017, the former three-star recruit will seek his first career carry this fall.

“He’s got some guys there that are pretty talented that are around him. He’s got to step in there and be the guy,” Les Miles said. “But I think he’s a pretty talented athlete. He came from a place (Texas A&M) with pretty talented players. I think he helps in a bunch of ways. ...

“I think he’s a football player. I think he’s a competitor. Talent? Eh, we’ll have to see. I think he’s pretty talented.”

While Miles is obviously familiar with his sons, he’s still getting a feel for his first KU squad, though he likes what he’s seen to this point.

Miles classified Friday’s practice as “productive,” though the team kept things relatively simple and low-contact. The group spent most of the afternoon inside the new indoor practice facility working on drills to simulate what the offense will look like in space.

“I just practiced with a team that’s gotten a lot better,” Miles said. “They had a strong summer. It’s obvious that they worked on our offense, defense and special teams. We’re better, OK? Now, we’re not where we need to be, but we’re taking strides and I like it. I like my team. I’m proud of their efforts.”

Miles said learning to limit self-inflicted wounds — KU was penalized an average of 6.5 times per game last season, ranking 82nd out of 130 FBS-level squads in that category — will be the biggest priority ahead of the team’s 11 a.m. Aug. 31 opener against Indiana State at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

“If we can stop pre-snap penalties, post-snap penalties and we can be sure that we take away and not turn over, oof, we’ll be a really good team,” Miles said.

The coaching staff is still hammering out two-deep and three-deep depth charts, Miles said, with talks on that very subject scheduled for later Friday — “That’s a daily mull, if you will,” he added. The good news, he argued, is that the Jayhawks “don’t have many spots to fill.”

Though it’s only been two days, Miles is perhaps most pleased by his team’s enthusiasm.

“I saw a brand new energy at practice (Friday),” Miles said. “There was a lot of enjoyment, guys with smiles, a lot of it. A team that really enjoyed each other’s company and wanted to have a practice that started a camp season that said, ‘No, people are going to struggle with us.’ ”

Options at linebacker

Miles confirmed that 6-1, 230-pound junior linebacker Drew Harvey — projected by some as a starter at inside linebacker this fall — is “no longer on the team” but made no further comment on the situation. Harvey has entered the transfer portal, 247Sports reported Thursday.

Despite the departure at a position that already had depth concerns, Miles cited several players as trustworthy options.

“Kyron Johnson we’ve moved from outside (linebacker) to inside. I think he’s going to make a difference,” Miles said. “I think Najee (Stevens-McKenzie) has really had a nice summer and should be ready to play significantly. Hayden (Hatcher) ... we just picked him up, and I think he’s going to be a talented guy. Depends on how quickly he learns the system.”

The Jayhawks may also look to a pair of true freshmen to be difference-makers at the position.

“(Steven) Parker is a 6-4, 225-, 230-pound outside linebacker who can really fly, so I think he would be somebody that will play significantly. He was player of the year in the state of Texas. And Gavin Potter was an all-state two-time state wrestling champion and player of the year in Oklahoma,” Miles said. “So I think both those guys could play significantly. Given an opportunity to learn, they’ll take advantage of it.”

Williams reintegrated

Sophomore running back and preseason All-Big 12 selection Pooka Williams returned in mid-July from a seven-month exile from the program, the result of a domestic battery charge Williams is in the process of wiping from his record through a diversion agreement reached with the Douglas County District Attorney's office.

Williams ran for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns across 11 games as a true freshman, adding 289 yards and a pair of scores as a receiver and one touchdown pass thrown. The 5-10, 200-pounder out of New Orleans averaged 7 yards a carry.

“He’s so glad to be back with his team, back to sweating in a football uniform and just being a part, and you can see it,” Miles said. “We’ve kept him kind of away from play because he’s not going to play in the first game, but it hasn’t stopped him from smiling and enjoying being with us.”