By Michael Kinney
The injury bug started biting Oklahoma back in the spring when they lost linebackers Jordan Kelly and Caleb Kelly to knee injuries. And just this week cornerback Tre Norwood went down with an apparent knee injury, according to multiple reports.
While injuries are a part of the game, Oklahoma has had to deal with its share of them over the past few years.
But if anyone on the Sooners needs to find the secret to overcoming devastating injuries, they just have to go talk to wide receiver Nick Basquine. Ever since the redshirt senior walked-on in 2014 he has had to battle serious setbacks and injuries just to get on the field.
But no matter what, Basquine said he has never lost sight of his dream.
“Just know you can set your own expectations,” Basquine said. “It doesn’t have to be defined by anybody else.”
Basquine finished the 2018 campaign with seven catches for 134 yards in 14 games. He has only one other season in which he contributed to the stat box, which was 2016. That year he posted 20 receptions for 265 yards and two touchdowns. That same year he was put on scholarship.
But every time it looked like Basquaine was ready to get back on the field and help his team, something else would happen and knocked him back down.
After redshirting his freshman season, the injuries started to hit the next year when Basquine tore the ligaments in his thumb, which forced him to sit out all of 2015.
After coming back and having a breakout 2016 campaign and earning a scholarship, Basquine tore his left Achilles during camp. Six months later he tore his right Achilles.
While others may have folded their tent and called it quits, Basquine was not built that way. He says his faith and his mother (Mary) are the reasons he kept coming back.
“My mom, she is a praying mom. Prayer is real,” Basquine said. “Also just my makeup. Seeing her work, a single-parent home. You know there is going to be obstacles, but you have to just persevere and get through them. Not just get through them but dominate whatever is in front of you.”
Whatever perseverance Basquine has shown in his time at Oklahoma has been directly influenced by watching his mother when times were tough in their home. That includes having to work two or three different jobs to support the family.
“She has been my main constant my whole life,” Basquine said. “I’ve seen her through the good times, I’ve seen her through the struggles. So I’ve learned through her just by observing and also the lessons she tells me.”
Now as he enters his final season with the Sooners, Basquine knows he has on last chance to show people what he can do and what type of player he can become.
“I think (my mom) is really proud, but I don’t think she is satisfied yet either,” Basquine said. “I’m not satisfied either. People think it’s crazy about wanting to go to the NFL and do all these other things, but that’s what I want to do and that’s how I’m attacking this. I want to have an impact season.”
Basquine already says he is ahead of where he was at this point last season.
“I think the biggest thing is obviously being healthy,” Basquine said. “I was rehabbing all last summer. But this year I am actually working out. I came up with a pretty deliberate plan with coach Riley about things I need to get better at. I worked on them every day. I feel pretty good coming into camp.”
Inside receiver’s coach Cale Gundy has been just as impressed with what he has seen out of his veteran wideout.
“He’s come full circle,” Gundy said of Basquine. “He’s been in a lot of situations, a lot of ups and downs through his career. He is a great kid, has great faith, great mom. He is somebody that continues to work constantly. He is always up in the office, always watching film. He is somebody that everybody is pulling for.”
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Provider