For many high profile recruits, the moment they finally sign their National Letter of Intent brings…
Bourbon Bigger, Ready to Hit Campus
While most graduating seniors will kick back, relax and maybe work a part-time job until college life officially begins in August, the timeline for future Division One athletes is, well, somewhat more accelerated.
Take Brandon Bourbon, for instance. One of the top running back prospects in the Midwest, Bourbon hails from Potosi, Mo., where his exploits on the gridiron were well known throughout the region. His abilities earned him scholarship offers from Kansas, Notre Dame, Stanford, Missouri and BYU – among others – though he ultimate chose to sign with Turner Gill and the Jayhawks in February.
Now, just a handful of months after National Signing Day, Bourbon is only weeks away from leaving home, living on his own, and beginning life as a student athlete at the University of Kansas.
"It's crazy," Bourbon said, of how rapidly the change is approaching. "Not only that, from an athletic standpoint, but from a school standpoint. I'm going to be away from home in an environment like that and living by myself. But I'm looking forward to it."
On Saturday, Bourbon joined a number of his future teammates – fellow signees in the Class of 2010 – as well as a host of recruits for Kansas' annual Spring Game. With his mom, dad and high school quarterback in tow, it was the heralded running back's first chance to visit campus since his official visit in January.
And honestly, Bourbon said, nothing felt much different. The coaches all still showed him a great deal of love, and he was excited to spend some time with the team and future roommate, Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst High School cornerback Dexter McDonald.
"It was cool," he said. "I got to meet a lot of guys that were signed and were going to come up with me this next summer and fall."
As for the Spring Game itself, Bourbon liked what he saw from the revamped Kansas offense. Much like his high school team, he said, the Jayhawks ran a mixture of formations with the quarterback both shotgun and under center.
Bourbon is approaching the summer as if he is battling for a starting spot in the Jayhawk backfield, and toward that goal has spent the past few months virtually living in the weight room. Through a combination of weight training and plyometrics, he's managed to maintain his elite-level speed and agility while adding an additional 10 pounds of muscle to his frame – pushing his weight to 218 pounds.
In just a few short weeks, Bourbon will be officially begin his career as a student-athlete at the University of Kansas. Lawrence will become his home away from home, and the football team his surrogate family.
That's when the real work will begin, both on and off the field. And he can hardly wait.
"I'm just excited," Bourbon said. "I know I made the right decision."
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