To say that A.J. Bouye has been an under the radar player through his high school career might be a bit of an understatement. Before Bouye received his lone scholarship from UCF he was not on Scout.com's database, despite playing for the perennial Georgia power, Tucker H.S.
Six interceptions, two defensive touchdowns and a state championship later and Bouye is starting to receive his just due.
"It's been good to start getting noticed, real good," Bouye told InsideKnights.com.
Tucker was a state championship favorite in the beginning of the season before they were shutout by Marist in September to the tune of 38-0. After a long season, Tucker stepped defensively and met Marist again in the title game. The outcome was a little different, as Bouye and his teammates were able to get revenge, 15-3.
"Winning was great. Everybody had us a favorite to win state until we tripped up against Marist. We kept it up and went on to win the whole thing, it felt great."
Bouye had a terrific year for Tucker as he claimed 35 tackles and six interceptions, two of which went for touchdowns. He did however learn from some mistakes that he made as senior.
"I made some mistakes because at times I got a little lazy. I think I can be more aggressive and I need to remain focused through the game."
Bouye knows he will need to keep focus next season as a Knight because he feels that he has a chance to step up in UCF's inexperienced secondary and make plays.
"I feel I can possibly help out early. I play on both sides of the ball and Coach Kelly recruited me as an athlete, but I think I'll play on defense. I really like Coach Kelly, he's just someone I know I can talk to if I ever have any problems."
UCF was Bouye's first offer from a FBS school, but he didn't jump at UCF right away.
"I took a visit first because my family wanted me to see the school I'd go to. My family told me that UCF was a great program and when I went there for the ECU game, I just felt comfortable. The fans were great there and the coaches were amazing."
Since UCF offered Bouye, he has started to garner a lot of attention from numerous different levels. He received an invite to the Georgia North-South All-Star game, which he will compete in with teammate Jonathan Davis. He has also received a lot of love from a handful of schools, although the offers haven't quite came yet.
"Alabama, West Virginia, Oklahoma St, Maryland, Ole Miss, Baylor, and South Carolina have all displayed some interest. West Virginia visited me the other day and said they'd call back with an offer, but the call never came."
With National Signing Day coming up in less than two months, coaches are scrambling to not only add commits but to keep them. Bouye's on-field production and his terrific measurable (6'1", 175 lbs.) have earned him a lot more attention that will pick up in the next few months, but UCF's chances of retaining him are very good.
"I'm focused on UCF. I'd say I'm a real strong commit."
That's good news for UCF, just don't tell anyone else for now.
Bouye Under the Radar
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