UK’s “camp MVP” is now a scholarship athlete


Wide Receiver David Bouvier gets ready for a play during the UK Blue and White scrimmage game at Kroger Field on Friday April 13, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Olivia Beach | Staff

A lot of players on the UK football team have caught the eyes of the coaching staff in this year’s training camp, but none has caught the attention more than senior wideout David Bouvier.

Bouvier’s success in camp, as well as everything else he has done leading up to his senior year, paid off on Monday as Bouvier and two of his other teammates were awarded scholarships.

“Feels weird being on full-scholarship now, such a blessing,” Bouvier said after Tuesday’s practice.

Bouvier had been a walk-on for the last four seasons for UK, but all that changed when head coach Mark Stoops awarded him, Zach Johnson and Miles Butler scholarships.

While Bouvier was happy for himself, he was also happy to see his teammates’ efforts pay off, as he described Johnson and Butler as the “definition of an SEC football player.”

“Every day they’ve brought it, they’ve worked on scout team, they’ve really come from the bottom and worked their way to the top,” Bouvier said.

Bouvier had a route similar to Johnson’s and Butler’s. The former Lexington Catholic High School player redshirted his first season on campus in 2014, and followed that year by working on the scout team.

Bouvier made two appearances in 2016 and four on special teams in 2017.

This year however, Bouvier projects to be a major contributor for the Cats as he’s been one of the best in camp so far.

“I go back this whole camp right now, he’s [Bouvier] our MVP,” Gran said. “That young man is giving it, making plays, he’s playing with energy. Just love that young man.”

Bouvier has even caught the attention of the player who will likely end up being the MVP for UK this season.

“He’s the guy – he really doesn’t say much but you know he’s that guy that has the energy,” running back Benny Snell said. “His hands are so sticky, he catches like everything. He contributes to the team a lot and I encourage a lot of the young guys to be like Bouvi [Bouvier].”

Bouvier said he worked hard his whole time at UK in order to get where he is now. This summer, he put in extra work with the quarterbacks to familiarize himself with them and spent more time in the film room.

Another thing that Bouvier does to be successful is bringing a positive mindset to practice, which can help him learn faster than other teammates. 

“If I make mistakes I’m going to make them full speed,” Bouvier said. “If I have a bad play, I’m going to come back and not going to think about what just happened, I got to go make the next play and move on.”

Now that Bouvier is on scholarship, he said a lot of the pressure is off him to perform. While the coaches will still expect high energy and effort from Bouvier, he can do that more freely thanks to the scholarship. 

“Every practice I was thinking, ‘Alright, I’m still a walk-on, I got to make plays, get me a scholarship,’” Bouvier said. “Now I’ve got a scholarship, I feel free, I can just go ball, do my thing.”