January 7, 2012

Rebels making push for four-star Bourque

Since Davante Bourque and LSU severed ties with one another earlier this week, life has turned more than a bit hectic for the four-star athlete from Crowley, La.

"It's crazy," Bourque's father, Kirk Landry, said Saturday morning, hours before coaches from Arizona State were scheduled to visit with he and his son in their south Louisiana home.

On Friday, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Miami made the trip to Crowley to make their sales pitches to the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Bourque.

"Ole Miss said they're looking for a big back, a guy who can run between the tackles," Landry said. "Davante said they loved everything about him. Davante said he loved everything about (Ole Miss) Coach (Hugh) Freeze. He liked his academic plan. He told me last night he wants to try to squeeze in a visit to Ole Miss."

Bourque is finishing his high school work at The Education Center School in Jackson, Miss. Being a little more than two hours away from Oxford, Landry said, could facilitate a mid-week official visit to Ole Miss. The Rebels are trying to get Bourque to visit on Jan. 27. Bourque will visit Tennessee on Jan. 13, Miami on Jan. 20 and one of three schools _ Ole Miss, Arizona State or Nebraska _ on Jan. 27. A college decision likely won't come, Landry said, until very close to National Signing Day on Feb. 1.

Tennessee, Landry said, gave his son his first scholarship offer but hadn't remained in contact after commitments to first Texas A&M and then LSU.

"Tennessee has come after him hard," Landry said. "(UT coach Derek) Dooley walked into Davanta's grandparents house yesterday and it was like he'd known them for years."

Miami coach Al Golden was impressive as well, Landry said, though he suspects the Hurricanes can't offer the one thing Bourque wants the most.

"To tell you the truth, Davonte really wants to play in the SEC," Landry said. "He's liked Miami since he was a little boy, and I think it's going to come down to Tennessee, Ole Miss and Miami. But I really believe in my heart it's going to come down to the two SEC schools."

Distance from home, Landry said, won't be a factor.

"Wherever he goes, his mom is talking about moving with him, but I told him he has to go to the best program that fits him," Landry said. "I told him not to worry about close to home or far away from home."

Landry said the fallout from Bourque's separation from LSU has "put the stress on him. Down here in Louisiana, if you're a top athlete and you don't go to LSU, they're mad. It's like it's written in the Bible you have to go there. It's wild with the LSU fans. …He has nothing against LSU. They've got to run their program the way they have to and Davonte has to do what's best for him."

Bourque is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 4 prospect in Louisiana and the No. 191 player in the U.S. As a junior, Bourque rushed for 2,326 yards and 40 touchdowns.

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