KU backup Julian Chandler opts out of 2020 football season

Kansas cornerback Julian Chandler (25) breaks up a pass to Kansas wide receiver Evan Fairs (19) during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

The Kansas football team lost some depth in the secondary Wednesday, as reserve safety Julian Chandler became the second member of the program to opt out of playing this year.

Chandler, a 6-foot, 182-pound senior from Houston, announced his decision via Twitter, three days ahead of KU’s second game of the season.

“This year has been full of surprises since January 1 — from the pandemic, as well as the many racial injustice instances,” Chandler wrote. “COVID-19 changed things for many of us. With deep concern for my family’s health as well as mine I have decided to opt out of the 2020 season.”

Chandler thanked KU for the opportunity to earn his degree and head coach Les Miles and the staff “for everything” in his post.

In a statement to the Journal-World Thursday afternoon, Miles said Chandler notified the coaches about the opt out.

“We fully support his decision,” Miles said.

Though he didn’t play in KU’s season opener versus Coastal Carolina, Chandler was listed as the backup Hawk on the team’s most recent depth chart earlier this week.

Chandler only appeared in one game during the 2019 season after redshirting in 2018. He was a member of KU’s 2016 recruiting class and graded by Rivals as a two-star prospect.

NCAA rules this year allow athletes in all sports to opt out of playing without penalty of losing their scholarship. Additionally, a blanket waiver from the NCAA allows for all athletes to receive an extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic.

In August, during the preseason, KU lost offensive lineman Antione Frazier to an opt out, as well. Frazier decided to enter the transfer portal.

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