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January 4, 2012The father of running back Davante Bourque said his son's six-month-long commitment to LSU is over.
Kirk Landry said he called LSU defensive line coach Brick Haley, the Tigers' area recruiter for Bourque, to deliver the news that his son was rescinding his pledge to the Tigers to reopen his recruiting process.
Because LSU's travel party was en route to New Orleans to continue preparations for next Monday's BCS national championship game Landry didn't talk to Haley but left a message.
The loss of Bourque, a Rivals250 member and four-star prospect, from LSU's nationally ranked recruiting class leaves the Tigers with 21 commitments.
"I had a long talk with Brick the other day," Landry said Wednesday. "He understood where we are. It's just the numbers."
The numbers Landry's speaking of have to with LSU's number of running backs that include six sophomore or freshmen backs, along with the reality that former Redemptorist standout Jeremy Hill will also be a member of the Class of 2012.
Instead of following through on his commitment issued in June after LSU's first summer camp Bourque, who originally pledged to Texas A&M in April, will now focus on Tennessee, Nebraska, Miami and Arizona State.
"Davante just felt it would be best to go somewhere else," Landry said. "He's not scared of any competition. It's about being smart. He said he's going to college to get his education and have a good time playing sports. He didn't think he would have any fun sharing time with all of those backs."
LSU has utilized its deep stable of backs to its benefit in reaching the BCS title game against Alabama.
Sophomores Michael Ford (123-755, 7 TDs) and Spencer Ware (174-700, 8 TDs) are the team's leading rushers followed by sophomore Alfred Blue (78-539, 7 TDs) and the late-season emergence of true freshman Kenny Hilliard (57-320, 8 TDs). True freshman Terrence Magee has also showed flashes of brillance and played in five games this season.
"He's not upset or anything with LSU," Landry said. "That's how they run their program, but he's not that type of player. He knows he wouldn't carry the ball in someone's offense every down. I know in certain packages they're going to ask him to get in the slot or play wide receiver. That's part of the game. But he said he's not going to anyone's program just to play wide receiver."
Bourque concluded his career at Crowley, where he rushed for more than 3,000 yards, with 179 carries for 1,342 yards for 17 touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 289 yards and 2 TDs for a total of 104 points scored.
During an exclusive interview with TigerBait.com three weeks ago Landry reiterated that he and his son were told this summer by LSU Head Coach Les Miles that Bourque would be the lone running back in the Class of 2012 if he committed after the summer camp.
Bourque did just that following suit after his cousin, Breaux Bridge wide receiver Kavahra Holmes, had also committed to the Tigers.
Although there's been no actual confirmation there's been a growing consensus that Hill, who was committed to LSU last year but did not sign following his arrest last January, is expected on LSU's campus this month and will go through spring drills.
That recent development has had Bourque reassessing his options over the past month. His first step was to de-commit from LSU and thus re-open a door believed to be closed since June.
Bourque will entertain coaches from Nebraska on Thursday, Tennessee on Friday and possibly Arizona State on Saturday for in-home visits. Miami has also talked about making an in-home visit next week.
Bourque has an official visit set to Tennessee for Jan. 13 and Miami the following weekend with Nebraska and Arizona State vying for a visit the last recruiting weekend.
"He would have loved to stay home and play," Landry said. "It's just not the best fit for him right now. He didn't want to stay here and satisfy some fans and make himself miserable. It's a business and we don't have any hard feelings. They're building their program the way they feel they need and Davante's got to look out for his best interest."