This was not an easy day for some of our local guys in terms of decisions. And you might think that having offers is a blessing. But it can cause a lot of pressure and a lot of problems with a kid trying to make a decision that is the best one for him and for the people around him.
One of those guys is highly touted Wide Receiver Kendrick Bourne (6'2.5" 287 pounds, 1,284 yards in 2012) from Milwaukie High School. He had offers from Portland State, North Dakota, Eastern Washington, and Idaho.
A few weeks ago Kendrick was down to PSU and EWU. In the end he had wanted to go to EWU but found out his offer there had been filled by other top guys.
Somehow a spot opened up the last day or so and the Eagles came back and offered him.
That made Bourne jump. The only problem is that Kendrick verbally committed to Coach Nigel Burton and the Vikings this past week feeling that was his best option. However when the offer to EWU opened back up he had to switch according to him.
"I don't want to blow any bridges up here with PSU and Coach Burton but I have to follow my heart. Two weeks ago I went to Eastern and it was amazing. I felt at home at there and I really gelled with the players and staff. I really connected with the guys there. I just could not quit thinking about it," said Bourne in a determined tone.
What about the offensive fit and his style of wide open up field receiver play?
"Man they have a young gun QB there, Vernon Adams from California, and he is a baller! They spray it out all over the field and love to throw deep. That is the offense for me. It is actually perfect for me. PSU runs the zone read and the pistol. That is not really an offense suited very well for my skills. EWU is more me...more my style."
He said that positional Coach Junior Adams made the decision easier as he and Bourne are on the same page on so many things. He is a guy Bourne is excited to play for.
Bourne gave PSU High marks for how hard they recruited him and how much effort and attention they put into it. He is clearly still being heavily pursued by Burton and staff. But he says his decision is final and he won't be changing it.
"I did commit to PSU verbally and Coach wanted to really emphasize life after football. But I have to chase my dream and take my shot. This is it for me at EWU. Hey if I don't make it I don't make it! The Eagles offense is going to be for better me and my football future what ever it can be. "
The young man is a the comeback story of the year. At Benson he was struggling in school and off the football field. His Senior year he moved to Milwaukie Art Academy and changed his outlook and his life.
"I have a 3.6 GPA right now. I need 2.5 credits to finish High School and qualify. I think I am going to get a 4.0 to finish out. Why not? This future I am trying for is on me too. When I leave here and move on I hold myself accountable. That is a big thing for me," he concluded.
The Eagles in landing Bourne are getting a kid that many of us believe is the best skill player in this class. So this is no small thing that he is doing. He says he will study Broadcasting and Journalism and wants to be a sports analyst in the future. A future he says is all decided no matter what else might happen going into signing day.
"The decision is made. I'm all done and there is no changing my mind at this point."