Parker catching passes, chasing record

DeVante Parker

University of Louisville junior wide receiver Devante Parker has become one of the top wide receivers in the country. He has a touchdown catch in nine consecutive games for the Cardinals. Cardinal Authority has a story on his success.

In the second quarter of the University of Louisville's 27-13 win over Kentucky, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater took a shotgun snap at the UK 13-yard line, waited patiently for wide receiver DeVante Parker to fade to the back corner of the end zone and lofted a tall pass to his sure-handed wide out.

The 6-foot-3 Parker, with both arms extended, out-jumped UK defensive back Fred Tiller to snag the ball at its apex and earn the Cardinals a 10-3 lead that they would never give back.

Plays like this have become the norm for Parker, who since his freshman year has established himself as the Cardinals' top threat in the passing game.

"When the ball's in the air, I just know that I'm going to come down with it," Parker said of plays like the one he made against the Wildcats. "That's all I need to do- just go up and get it."

And the Cardinals trust Parker to do just that. Now a junior, Parker has led the team in touchdown catches each of his first two seasons (six as a freshman, 10 as a sophomore). Last season, he also led the team in receiving yards with 744.

With four touchdown grabs in U of L's first three games this season, Parker has extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown reception to nine. The streak started against Cincinnati last October, when he hauled in two to help the Cardinals knock off the Bearcats on a rainy Friday night.

Parker attributes much of the success he's had to the chemistry he has found with the man throwing him the ball.

"(Teddy and I) have great chemistry with each other," Parker said. "He just has trust in me that I'm going to go up and get it and that I'm going to make a big play."

He also credits Louisville's deep receiving corps, which keeps opposing secondaries from focusing on just one receiver.

"I believe we've got the best receiving corps in the nation," Parker said. "They open everything up for me because they flush everything out, and do their job like they're supposed to. And when it's my job, I do the same thing for them, so they can have the opportunity to show what they can do."

Parker's on-field dominance has even garnered high praise from Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson, who has better than 30 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level.

"He could walk out of here with all the records," Watson said. "He's one of the better receivers, I believe, in the country and certainly one of the best I've ever worked with in my career."

Parker's 20 career touchdown catches place him fourth on the school's all-time list, trailing only Cardinal greats Ibn Green (33), Arnold Jackson (31) and Anthony Cummings (23).

With the talent and ability he's shown in his time with the Cards, granted that he doesn't take that talent to the professional level a year early, Parker may score his way to the top of that list before he graduates.

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