#EagleNation Spotlight – Bourne Made The Right Call

#EagleNation Spotlight – Bourne Made The Right Call


The difference between winning and losing can be many different things.

For Ashland University senior safety Kevin Bourne, it's a little more than 60 miles.

Bourne is a fifth-year senior, a player who spent his first four collegiate seasons at NCAA Division I Kent State. His best season with the Golden Flashes came in 2016, as he finished with 67 total tackles (41 solo), three tackles for loss, a sack, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

More than half of his redshirt junior-season tackles (35) came in the final two games. What didn't come as easily for Bourne at KSU were wins – four in 2013, two in 2014 and three each in 2015 and 2016.

"It quit being as much fun as I would have liked it to be," Bourne said. "I was finally starting and getting significant minutes, and it wasn't as fun as I felt it should be. And that's where the (transfer) process started. They didn't seem too ecstatic to keep me there.

"I contacted a couple schools, but really, Ashland worked the best, because it's close to home. Everybody can come see me. The winning is the biggest thing for me."

Bourne, from Newark, Ohio, is pleased with his decision. Going into Saturday's (Nov. 25) home NCAA Division II Super Region Three semifinal at noon vs. Harding at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field, Bourne's individual production has continued – 53 total tackles, 1½ for loss, four pass breakups and a forced fumble – and the Eagles are 11-1.

"That's the reason I came, was to win some games," Bourne said. "I knew early, just by seeing the players that we had on Ashland…I knew we were going to be successful."

At Ashland, Bourne plays for defensive coordinator Tim Rose, who, along with his staff, will look to dial up schemes that will slow down the Bisons, whose triple-option offense leads the country in rushing.

"He's unbelievable," said Bourne of Rose. "I just respect him so much. He's just great. He knows what he's doing, and he always gives the players credit for the success that we have, but really, most of the success has been what he's been able to do.

"It's great playing for him."

As was the case a season ago at Kent, Bourne's tackle numbers are climbing higher at the end of the season, as his 11 total stops in Week 11 at home vs. Saginaw Valley State and eight total tackles at home in the first round of the playoffs at home vs. Northwest Missouri State are his two top games of 2017.

That, despite being a part of a defensive rotation in which 22 players go in and out during the game. Playing time may go down as a result of that, but being fresher this time of year is the important trade-off.

"It's been nice. I'm not dinged," Bourne said. "Normally, Week 13, you have the nagging injuries all over the place. I don't really have that like I've had in the past. Playing 50 percent of the reps helps that out."

Bourne finally has had a chance to consistently win as a college football player. And he doesn't want that to end.

"It's really just another week," he said. "Everybody knows this could be our last game. Nobody's ready to be done yet."