RECRUITING UPDATE: Davante Bourque
Halfback wants to continue high school success in Baton Rouge
By CASEY GISCLAIR
Tiger Rag Recruiting Contributor
Crowley High School halfback Davante Bourque grew up playing pickup football against kids sometimes twice his age.
“I’d go home crying you know, but the next day, I’m back out there playing again,” he recalls. “That next day, I might end up crying again, but I was just tough. I learned to be tough as a kid. That made me better.”
Now against competition his own size, there’s no more crying - not unless it’s tears of joy.
The Crowley High School halfback has proven his work as a child has paid off so far in his young high school career. In his junior season, he amassed more than 2,300 yards and 40 touchdowns for the Gents.
That’s not a misprint. He scored 40 touchdowns. That was good enough to earn the halfback a scholarship offer from LSU coach Les Miles, which he accepted to become the Tigers’ first halfback commitment in the 2012 class.
“LSU just made me feel like I was at home and like I was part of a family,” Bourque said. “With Coach Wilson, my position coach and Coach Haley, who is my recruiting coach, they just made me feel like I was in the family. When you’re in a family, who would you want to be somewhere else?”
The above stats obviously show Bourque plays the part of a Division I halfback. But he definitely looks the part, too.
Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 200 pounds, the halfback describes himself as a physical bruiser who is hungry for contact.
Where the object of most backs is to avoid the incoming hit, Bourque isn’t afraid to admit he believes he’s the one bringing the pain to the opponent when he’s toting the football.
“The way my dad taught me to play is you go out there and you look to try and light somebody up,” Bourque said. “Because the other person out there, that’s what they are doing, too, they are trying to hurt you. … That’s just the way I was raised - instead of receiving a lick, I’m going to go out there and give a lick. I just have this mentality that I’m not going to let nobody hurt me. If you give me one, I’m going to be sure to give you one, too. That’s just how I play.”
Don’t let the talk totally fool you. This guy isn’t only a banger. Bourque rushed for his 2,300 yards in just 221 carries last season, averaging 10.5 yards per rush.
That has a lot to do with his 4.51 recorded 40-yard dash time.
“If I see some space, then a bunch of open grass, I have the ability to get moving and run my way into the end zone,” Bourque said with a laugh.
The obvious thought that will come into the mind of any LSU purist is playing time, which will come at a premium to any LSU commitment at the halfback position in the next few years.
With names like Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard all with multiple years of eligibility remaining, it wouldn’t seem likely Bourque would earn his spot in the rotation anytime soon.
If that’s the case, he said that’s fine by him.
“May the best man win,” he said.
But having to fight for playing time is “absolutely not” something he’s afraid to do.
“To be honest with you, a lot of people tell me that stuff, but that doesn’t bother me,” Bourque said. “Because in the end, no matter what school you go to, you’ll have to battle for a spot. I’m just that much of a competitor and I have the heart of a lion to where that really doesn’t make a difference to me. I’ll go anywhere they tell me to go. I’ll play anytime and I’ll play anywhere. No matter what anyone asks, I’ll go out and compete. That’s just who I am. That’s just who I’ve always been.”
The early stages of the recruiting process took Bourque to Texas A&M and the prospect was an Aggies commitment for a brief time.
But he said that commitment was before he visited LSU’s camp, which served as a virtual check mate in his recruitment.
“When I went to A&M’s camp, I just felt at the time like I’d be a perfect fit at the school,” Bourque said. “A few days later, I went to LSU’s camp and I had it in my mind that I wasn’t going to work out. So it was a three-day camp. The first day, I went and I didn’t do nothing. The second day, I gave in and worked out to let the coach’s see what I’ve got.
“So I ran and I did a decent time in the 40. I did a decent shuttle time. I did some position drills halfbacks against the linebackers and they just couldn’t stop me. … When I opened my eyes and saw it, the coaches at LSU, they just showed me so much love. They just make me feel like I’m home. I know LSU obviously is at home for a Louisiana boy, but they make you just feel like you’re at home. It’s like when I’m around them and when I get into school, I know that I won’t have nothing to worry about because this is like home to me. This is the place I want to be.”
If he has the impact he has had in the high school level, his home in Baton Rouge just might be the end zone.
But Bourque also has other things on his mind that aren’t necessarily football related, but are closer to home.
All of those things are what he says are his motivations as he tries to carry his high school successes into the Southeastern Conference.
“It’s just a blessing,” he said. “Where I come from, there’s just a bunch of nobodies - a bunch of people who do all types of drugs and who drink alcohol and that’s the things I grew up around. And that’s just not me. … I’m trying to make a name for myself. I’m trying to be as good as I can possible be to show these people something and show them that the ways they live aren’t right and aren’t the ways to go. If I can do that, man, I’d just be happy.”