EWU's Bourne trying to catch on like Kupp
(STATS) - End a college career at a national power with 211 receptions for 3,130 yards and 27 touchdowns, and that wide receiver would surely be the toast of FCS-level prospects heading into the NFL Draft.
Kendrick Bourne isn't receiving any such billing, but, of course, he's used to it. The shadow cast from fellow Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp tends to overwhelm everybody else.
Bourne considers himself more than just the "other" draft candidate from Eastern Washington's receiving corps. NFL teams have shown enough interest that he was invited to participate in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the NFL Combine in the buildup to this year's draft, April 27-29 in Philadelphia.
"Being the second guy, it taught me to really be a team player," Bourne said at the Combine. "I've always been a team player, but it made me buckle down and (say), 'OK, this is a team game, you're not going to get every pass every time.' That's how I try to compare it to being in the (NFL). I know I won't probably be a starter when I first come in, I'll probably just be a role guy. So I just try to use it to my advantage."
The 6-foot-1, 203-pound Bourne is considered a late-round prospect, although his 4.68-second time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine might drop him to undrafted free agency. Eastern Washington reported he lowered the time to 4.53 at the Eagles' pro day Tuesday in Cheney.
Bourne and Kupp were reunited at the pro day. They set FCS career records for combined receptions (639) and receiving yards (9,594) by two teammates, although about two-thirds of those numbers came from Kupp, the former Jerry Rice and Walter Payton award winner who is expected to be selected in the second or third round.
Bourne is noted for having good hand skills, both in freeing himself from defensive backs and with catching passes. He ended his Eastern Washington career with at least one reception in 39 straight games, catching 79 passes for 1,201 yards - both career highs - with seven touchdowns as a senior.
"My energy, I'm a high-energized guy," Bourne said. "You have to come to practice prepared every day. Going hard, every single play no matter what it is. I know I'm going to be the kind of practice guy doing stuff to be able to make my name."