Davante Bourque leaves Tennessee, headed for Pearl River
CROWLEY – Davante Bourque’s much-anticipated SEC football career with the University of Tennessee Vols appears to be over before it really started.
The former Crowley High standout, who chose the Vols last spring after withdrawing previous commitments to Texas A&M and LSU, has left the Volunteer football program.
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley told GoVols247 that Bourque is “not part of our team” after Bourque abruptly left the team a week ago.
Bourque’s father, Kirk Landry, confirmed his son’s departure Friday morning.
“When Davante first got there, he was homesick just like any other kid,” said Landry. “And, then, after being up there for two weeks, his son’s grandfather died. He just had a lot on his mind and he wanted to come back to be with his son.”
Landry also said there were other issues that led to Bourque leaving the team.
“There were just a lot of broken promises,” he said. “You know, he was homesick and they didn’t help it any by not being truthful when they were recruiting him.
“He was at the point where he wanted to just give up on football, but I urged him to stick it out.”
Landry said he was disappointed to hear of his son’s decision. But he also said, to some point, he understands.
“I wasn’t happy at all when he told me he was coming home,” said Landry. “But everything that was going on had him so messed up in the head. He wasn’t able to concentrate on football. He was going to give it up. That’s how frustrated they had him up in Knoxville.
“But I told him things in life are tough, things in life aren’t going to come easy. (I told him) people are going to lie to you and such, but you just have to suck it up and take another route to get where you want to get.”
Bourque did just that late Friday evening when he signed to play football at Pearl River Community Collge, a Junior College in Poplarville, Miss.
Bourque will report to school today and begin classes on Monday.
“Pearl River actually came down a few days before Davante left for Tennessee and said that if it doesn’t work out over there, he has an offer here to come play.”
Bourque had no choice but to go the junior college route after leaving Tennessee per NCAA rules.
However, he is seeking a full release from Tennessee. If that happens, Bourque could play the fall semester and then transfer to a Division I school in the spring.
Should Tennessee not grant his release, Bourque would have to graduate from Pearl River before returning to the Division I ranks.
“He has to go to a junior college because he hasn’t been at Tennessee for a full year,” said Landry. “If he would have played a season there, he would be able to go to a FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) school like McNeese.
“I have called and emailed the running backs coach (at Tennesse) to see if we can get a release but I haven’t gotten a response back from him at all.”
Bourque, recruited as a four-star athlete, rushed for 1,342 yards and 17 touchdowns on 179 carries in 2011. He also caught 12 passed for 289 yards and a pair of touchdowns.