Former walk-on David Bouvier makes big impact in Kentucky’s season opener


Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver David Bouvier (33) is lifted up by wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. (1) in the end-zone after a touchdown during the game against Central Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 35-20. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

For Kentucky wide receiver David Bouvier, Saturday’s victory meant more than just an added win to his team’s schedule. It was Bouvier’s first game as a Division I scholarship athlete, a productive one at that, and a game in which he scored his first collegiate touchdown.

All pre-season long and especially during camp, when he was deemed “camp MVP” by offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, Kentucky coaching staff was very high on the walk-on-turned-scholarship athlete.

In the Cats’ 35-20 victory over Central Michigan, Bouvier was targeted seven times by quarterbacks Terry Wilson and Gunnar Hoak. He caught three passes for 48 yards and scored a touchdown in the beginning of the second quarter.

Fast, fearless and tough were words tossed around heavily to describe Bouvier’s style of play. Teammates and coaches had nothing but good things to say about the Lexington native.

“He does everything right all the time, and fast,” Gran said. “That’s what makes him so good. I love the way he’s done everything.”

Hoak gave a testament to not only Bouvier’s performances on the football field, but also to his personal character.

“Great guy. I love him. He comes out, he works hard, and he gets open out on the field. He’s a good route runner,” Hoak said.

Hoak and Bouvier had a special connection just before the second half, when Hoak completed a 24-yard pass to Bouvier near the end zone for a touchdown. Not only was the former walk-on an asset as a receiver, he was also productive as a punt returner and took several big hits, but bounced right back and kept to his game.

“If I can stop the ball from rolling, that’s huge for our offense. So I really don’t mind taking those hits, none of them really hurt,” Bouvier said.

For the record, they definitely looked like they hurt.

Benny Snell also had positive words when it came to Bouvier, and even compared him to a Marvel superhero.

“Bouvier’s like Spiderman. He doesn’t drop anything. He’s a major help,” Snell said. “He’s like really good at catching the ball near the sideline, you know, he can just get open. He’s small and he’s got that speed, with the hands, so he’s just a deadly player.”

Like Hoak, Wilson complimented Bouvier on his speed and ability to run routes well, saying he’s a guy that the team loves and the quarterbacks love throwing to.

Was the senior expecting to come into his first game as a scholarship athlete and score his first collegiate touchdown?

“You’re damn right I was,” Bouvier said.