In sports, we have a tendency to compare white guys to other white guys. Julian Edelman was the next Wes Welker and Joey Bosa was the next J.J. Watt. More times than not, it’s an unfair comparison. That’s not quite the case with David Bouvier and Charles Walker.
Walker became a fan-favorite by making tough catches through traffic as an undersized wide receiver who started his career as a walk-on before the St. X product earned a scholarship. His old roommate is following in his footsteps. An undersized slot receiver, Bouvier was a star at Lexington Catholic before walking on at Kentucky. Now he has a scholarship and is competing for a starting spot.
If you make the comparison, Bouvier will not shut you down. “I wouldn’t mind being that,” he said after catching four passes for 52 yards in the Blue/White Game.
“That’s a good receiver right there,” quarterback Terry Wilson said. “He’s a magnet. His hands are magnets to the football. He’s a hard-working dude. He works hard everyday in practice. The stuff you see out there is the stuff he does everyday at practice. It correlates. If you work hard in practice, it’s gonna happen on the field.”
Wilson was one of many who was quick to praise Bouvier’s performance. “He’s very reliable,” Mark Stoops said. “He’s competitive. He gets open. Makes tough catches. I definitely think he’ll contribute.”
Bouvier has made tough catches throughout his Kentucky career, but you’ve never seen them. He made one of them at the end of Kentucky’s second spring scrimmage, a one-handed grab in the end zone. Those plays have been commonplace on the practice field, but he had to do it consistently to earn a scholarship.
“It’s been tough, I’m not gonna lie,” Bouvier said. “Starting out as a walk-on is always hard. You gotta be perfect in practice. You gotta earn everything you get. I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s had it’s challenges, but I’ve got great coaches and great quarterbacks and they make it easy.”
He had to fight to earn a scholarship. That experience should help him fight for a starting position.
“Bouvier has earned his scholarship. Bouvier has been one of the most productive kids we’ve had at camp,” offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said. “He’s fighting with Clevan for that starting position and right now I’d say it’s one and one right now, and maybe Bouvier with an edge.”
Bouvier has done everything the right way and is seen as an example for his teammates. To secure that starting spot, he now must become a vocal leader.
“I told him I want you to become more vocal,” wide receivers coach Michael Smith said. “He’s a guy that leads by example. He comes to work everyday. He does amazing things on the football field, but he’s quiet as a church mouse. I think a lot of the guys in the room have respect for him, and if he says something, I truly believe they’ll listen to him.”
Smith was in Bouvier’s shoes more than 20 years ago. A walk-on at Kansas State, he earned his scholarship before earning All-Big Eight honors. Smith knows Bouvier has what it takes to contribute this fall.
“It’s a story of persevering. Being able to battle and believe in yourself. Dave has put himself in a position to be in that spotlight.”