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Gran: Former walk-on receiver Bouvier most valuable player of Kentucky football training camp

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

If training camp ended this week, David Bouvier would be considered Kentucky’s Most Valuable Player.

Bouvier, a former standout at Lexington Catholic High School who earned a scholarship Monday night, has been one of the Wildcats’ most consistent receivers and it’s not even been close if you ask Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.

“You want to talk about a guy making plays,” Gran said Tuesday. “As I go back through the whole camp right now, he’s our MVP. That young man is getting it (and) he’s making plays. He’s playing with energy and (I) just love that young man.”

Even Kentucky wide receivers coach Michael Smith agreed with Gran.

“David Bouvier is a warrior, a guy that I have a lot of admiration for and respect for because of the way he plays the game,” Smith said. “… in my eyes, he’s had the best camp.”

Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran was pleased with the way the Wildcats bounced back this week following a poor showing in a scrimmage last week. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor)

Bouvier stands at 5-foot-9 and 168 pounds and has focused on the little things during the preseason, which has earned him respect from the players and coaching staff.

“I’ve worked on my routes (and I have) been running hard,” he said. “I know what they want with the offense. (I) worked hard in the film room. If you want to be good and a better player, you better work hard in the film room.”

Now that he has a coveted scholarship in hand, Bouvier doesn’t plan on becoming complacent.

“I just try and make sure I bring it every day (and) have a good mindset,” he said. “Even if I make mistakes, I’m going to make them full speed. If I have a bad day, I’m not going to think about what just happened. I’m just going to go on to the next play and move on.”

Kicker Miles Butler, a senior and junior running back Zach Johnson also was awarded a scholarship during a team meeting by the Kentucky coach staff.


Speaking of moving on, Kentucky hasn’t been dwelling on last Saturday’s scrimmage, one that drew bad reviews from the players and coaching staff. During the past two days, things have been different for the Wildcats, especially offensively.

“This is is a huge week for us,” Gran said. “This is kind of where we make our team. This is what coach talked about. I liked the way we came out the last two days. We were able to push the ball down the field. Made some plays today. I thought we got a little bit better. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we definitely got better from Saturday.”

Gran even noted Kentucky’s quarterbacks — Terry Wilson and Gunnar Hoak took some steps forward following a letdown down last week’s scrimmage.

“(The) quarterbacks are doing good,” Gran said. “I think the learning curve part of it, you saw in the last two days they’re knowing where to go with the ball quicker. That has been really, really good. Not so good in the scrimmage. Again, we took a step that way too. I thought today and yesterday they picked up their game.”

Gran also has been pleased with newcomers Chris Rodriguez and Kavosiey Smoke.

“I thought if there was one thing that was a positive (during the scrimmage), I thought those two kids ran really hard,” he said. “They’ve got really good vision and they bring a lot of power. They’ve got really good hands. I was pleased with those guys.”

Gran added he’s not sure how many true freshmen will get an opportunity to play this season.

“I think we have a couple that might have a chance (to play),” he said. “We’re still waiting. The big deal for them will be on Saturday. That scrimmage — everything is in. It’ll be a really good test to see where we are both offensively and defensively, especially with that freshman.”


Kentucky running back Benny Snell is feeling just fine following Saturday’s scrimmage. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Snell was held out because of a calf strain.

“It’s great,” he said. “I don’t even know why (coach Mark) Stoops said something … I don’t even feel it no more.”

Keith Taylor is a senior sports writer for KyForward, where he primarily covers University of Kentucky sports. Reach him at keith.taylor@kyforward.com or @keithtaylor21 on Twitter

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