Walking on at the University of Oklahoma
Nick Basquine doesn’t care what it takes, he’s where he wants to be
This story originally appeared on OUDaily.com on August 15, 2016. You can read the edited version of this story here.
Nick Basquine isn’t your typical Division I wide receiver, and that’s okay.
He is a walk-on.
Basquine had offers from American schools, and from Mountain West schools, but he wanted to play for a winning program, a Power 5 school. Loans didn’t matter.
His mother, a drug and alcohol abuse specialist in Norman and single parent, supported him.
“My mom’s doing everything for me and my brother but she told me to live life with no regrets,” he said. “I could have gone places but I felt like I could play at a Power Five conference and I knew Oklahoma was going to be good and I wanted to play for Oklahoma so she supported that decision.”
Basquine didn’t enter college to a lot of fanfare or attention. He was a senior in high school before he talked to his first contact at Oklahoma. Cale Gundy, an assistant coach on Bob Stoops’ staff first reached out to Basquine, but the two already had a connection.
“My best friend is K.C. (Gundy’s son), I’ve known him since about sixth grade so I did have an in,” Basquine said. “They kind of saw what I was doing my senior year but you get recruited so early so it was kind of late and they didn’t really have any spots but I understood that and then he felt like I could play.”
When Basquine got on campus, his first experience was on the scout team, with another former walk-on in Baker Mayfield. It was there that he started to develop that crucial relationship between quarterback and wide receiver.
“We had a good little chemistry going, we were always making plays,” Basquine said. “He knows what it means to be a walk-on, but he also saw the potential that I have.”
Basquine tried to stand out on that scout team, which also included players like Dorial Green-Beckham. On each passing play, there was a designated receiver to look for; Basquine wanted his name called every time. From that point on, Basquine was sort of taken under Mayfield’s wing.
“Definitely (he did), I could see it,” Basquine said. “But also, he knows the difference between a guy that can play and a guy that can’t and that’s how he looked at me. He realized I could play from my true freshman year on scout team so we’ve always had a good rapport with that.”
He has a belief in his abilities, and he’s just working. He said he trusts his work ethic and he prays for his opportunity. Basquine knows that good things will come. He isn’t worried about the financial strain of being a major college football player without a scholarship.
“Obviously it’s tough from a financial standpoint but when you’re doing what you love and you work hard, good things are going to come out of it,” he said. “You can think about (taking out loans) but you’d also have the regret of what you could have done versus what you’re doing. That’s probably more on you than money, I mean I’m going to pay it off eventually.”
Basquine said that he draws motivation from his mother. He said that he knows what she has given to him, and he’s working hard to give those same things back. He said that sometimes there are little things here and there that are tough, but he knows that he just needs to keep working.
Basquine caught a touchdown last Saturday during Oklahoma’s first scrimmage of fall camp. For what was really the first time since he arrived, he got some love from the fans. He kept his focus though.
“I really didn’t think much about it, I just come out here and work hard every day,” he said. “I’m just staying focused and blocking out the noise because I am starting to get a little buzz, just staying the course and putting in work.”
The buzz is building; Mayfield said that Basquine could even start for the Sooners.
The extra work that Basquine puts in doesn’t bother him at all. Not the loans, not the lack of a scholarship, none of it.
“This is the University of Oklahoma, I know we have a good chance to do big things here and I want to be a part of that,” he said. “Whatever it takes.”