Crowley's Davante Bourque inks with Tennessee; Kaleb Cormier headed to McNeese State
CROWLEY – After receiving an official offer from the Tennessee Vols in the fall of 2010, the flood gates opened on the recruitment of Crowley High running back Davante Bourque.
Offers began to pour in from colleges across the country and Texas A&M seemed to be the initial winner of the Bourque lottery.
LSU then stepped in and pulled Bourque away from the Aggies not a month after his commitment.
Meanwhile, Tennessee waited in the wings.
And when Bourque suddenly rescinded his commitment to the Tigers last month, the team that had made the initial sales pitch ended up winning the star running back’s services after all.
Bourque made it official yesterday on National Signing Day by signing a binding letter of intent to play for the Tennessee Volunteers.
“You know, they (Vols) made me my first offer in the middle of my junior season,” said Bourque, who is the No. 14-ranked athlete in the country and 191st-ranked player overall by Rivals.com. “They stayed with me through my commitment with Texas A&M and LSU and once I decommitted from LSU, they really came at me hard.”
Bourque gave Tennessee his verbal commitment after his official visit to Knoxville three weeks ago, giving the Vols of Derek Dooley a huge boost in their recruiting efforts.
“When I first saw him on film, I was really excited about his athleticism for his size,” said Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham of the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Bourque.
“He has great speed and great ability to be elusive in the open field. And he also has power; that’s the thing that I liked about him as a runner. And when I met him, he’s also bigger than I thought he would be.
“The more I got to know him, his mentality, his focus and how much he loves football, that’s a great combination for a player with his type of ability.
“We’re really excited up here for what we have in Davante Bourque.”
A major factor in Bouquets’ decision was his desire to play running back in college. A number of the other schools recruiting him wanted to use the multi-talented athlete at wide receiver.
“We signed him as a running back and that’s what I want him to be for me,” said Graham. “He’s going to get bigger, he’s very strong and he’s capable of playing and playing early.”
Bourque did make one last official visit after giving the Volunteers his verbal commitment. He visited the University of Miami two weeks ago. He had one more trip lined up, but he canceled that visit after the trip to Coral Gables , Fl.
“I had a good time visiting with all the coaches who recruited with me,” said Bourque, who had in home visits with Nebraska , Miami and Ole Miss in the last three weeks. “But the love that Tennessee showed me had them at the top of my list above everybody else.”
Davante is the son of Kirk Landry and Connie Bourque.
Cormier inks with
Crowley High senior Kaleb Cormier went into the 2012 prep football season with one goal in mind - playing well enough to extend his football career past the high school level.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound reached his goal and solidified it Wednesday afternoon when he signed a National Letter of intent to play football at McNeese State University beginning in the fall.
“I made my decision when I went on my official visit,” said Cormier. “When I was there, they just made me feel like I was part of a family. I felt like they were my brothers and sisters over there and that pretty much made my decision easy.”
Cormier hauled in 20 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns during his senior campaign in earning second-team All-District honors as well as first-team All-Acadia Parish accolades.
During his junior season, Cormier had a breakout year as a wideout, hauling in 31 passes for 510 yards and three touchdowns.
“We saw Kaleb in the spring and he came highly recommended from coach (Tommy) Tate and coach (Josh) Fontenot,” said McNeese head coach Matt Viator. “We’ve watched him from last spring and again through the fall and we offered him.
“We think he’s a really good athlete that’s going to be able to do a variety of things for us. We’re going to start him as a tight end/H-back type of guy that I think can play off the line, can flex out, can play on the line; you know, do different types of things like that.
“All in all, I think he’s very athletic. He can catch it and can run after the catch. I like his length about him. We’re excited about him.”
Cormier was also being looked at by Texas A&M toward the end of his junior year and through the summer, but he was never given an official offer by the Aggies.
“For a while, A&M kept contacting me, but when they lost their head coach, I pretty much stopped hearing from them,” said Cormier.
The Aggies loss is McNeese’s gain.
Viator has high hopes for Cormier, who was a four-sport athlete at Crowley High. He earned three letters in basketball and four in football, baseball and track.
In track and field, Cormier logged a career best leap of 44-9 last year in the triple jump and 22-1 in the long jump.
“You know, he’s been a four-sport guy there,” said Viator. “I like the fact that he has been a multi athlete. I think that it shows that he can do a lot of things and he likes to compete. So when we get him here and everything is more confined and he spends more time in the weight room, I think he’s going to be a really good player here.”
Cormier, a member of the National Honor Society, is planning on majoring in mechanical engineering at McNeese. He is the son of Jude and Nora Cormier.