Walk-on to stand out


I know, right? Not really a word you read and get excited over. Fans especially hate to hear them used to describe a football player. Especially if it’s describing not only height and weight, but also the list of offers being thrown at the kid. These are issues that faced Norman North receiver Nick Basquine his senior year.

Although a successful career capped off by a senior season of over 60 receptions for 1100-plus yards, the major offers just weren’t coming in. Most recruiting classes take 1-2 awesome slot receivers and the rest of the focus is on the big boys outside. However, OU has had success from the ‘Small’ labeled student athletes. Ryan Broyles, Sterling Shepard, Jalen Saunders; they all were versatile yet “small” receivers and they all terrorized defenses because of it. The problem is, none of those guys were walk-ons.

“Crafty, quick, reliable and smooth” are just a few of the latest terms coming out of the locker room about sure-handed walk-on redshirt sophomore wide receiver Nick Basquine. Basquine, a Norman North product, standing at 5-11 and 190 pounds with pads, cleats and pockets full (which is up from his freshman year) may not be the steam rolling, speedy giant that Sooner fans have been salivating for but he’s also not the shortest or lightest receiver the team has trotted on the field.

He wasn’t the highly touted receiver from Norman that Ryan Broyles was but the redshirt sophomore could surprise some people this fall. After not getting the big offers he wanted, Basquine opted to do the walk on route and work his way into the rotation.

I did have offers. I had multiple from the Mountain West Conference and the American (Athletic). My first one was New Mexico late in my senior season. I almost went there because (Bob Davie) was the first coach that believed in me. I thank him for that opportunity.

His work ethic and improvement in the weight room have garnered attention from the coaching staff, as well as another twitchy successful walk on in Baker Mayfield, who spoke highly of Basquine in camp.

He’s worked his butt off and gotten bigger, you notice him now and on the field? Watch out for Basquine.

Plain and simple, the kid’s a problem. Even Nick himself is noticing his reps rise in practice and the possibility of playing time coming closer.

The first day I got moved to the ‘A’s’ in the spring; that’s when I realized the coaches were really looking at me. I’ve been trying to take advantage of that opportunity ever since.

The depth chart for the Sooners is still open outside of Mark Andrews and Dede Westbrook, and there are notables like AD Miller, Dahu Green and Jordan Smallwood, but in Lincoln Riley’s unorthodox ‘air raid’ offense, we could easily see a 6-8 receiver rotation. And when those doors open to the Palace on the Prairie, and the lights are on, there’s no telling who could get a shot and rise to the occasion.

I’m not predicting the next Ryan Broyles but if Basquine cracks the depth chart, take note.

That’s been a dream of mine since I was little, said Basquine on the possibility of seeing the field this season, Growing up and watching the Sooners play. It hasn’t happened yet, but I know it’ll be a surreal feeling. But when that happens, I’ll be ready for it.

No final depth chart has been set yet as the Sooners are close to the September 3 kickoff, but one thing that isn’t so small is the impression the young walk-on has made on his teammates, and the big impression he hopes to make on the fans.



About the author

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.


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