There is no replacing DeVante Parker.
The University of Louisville standout wide receiver will miss six to eight weeks after suffering a broken toe on his left foot, resulting in surgery.
But the good thing for the Cardinals is the wide receiver position is one of the deepest of any program in the country.
And one of those guys who will try to help fill some of the void from the loss of Parker is senior Kai De La Cruz. The 6-foot, 187-pound De La Cruz is looking to have a big senior campaign.
Injuries hampered a potential big-time season last year for De La Cruz, as he led the team with a career high 116 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening blowout win over Ohio University.
“I feel great, actually this is the best I have felt in a long time,” De La Cruz said about his past injuries. “I feel like I’m going to come out strong and play well.”
But De La Cruz is confident that he and the rest of the senior wide outs will step up to the plate this season. “I think it goes without saying I think we have already a senior crew, so you know Michaelee (Harris), Eli (Rogers), we got Matt Milton. We already know that we got to do what we always done.”
Offensive coordinator Garrick McGee has noticed the improvements that De La Cruz has made this summer noting his good hands, and his ability to get to top speeds while being able to change directions.
“He’s able to catch the ball in traffic, you know make difficult catches,” McGee said. “We are just looking forward to seeing him get out there. He’s done a really good job in training camp.”
McGee realizes that losing one of the best players in college football is never good thing, but is still confident in the experience of the wide receivers.
“We are in a better position to handle it than most teams,” he said. “Because we have depth, we have experience; we have four seniors that have played in front of a lot of people played in huge games.”
As the Cardinals prepare for Monday’s conference showdown against Miami, Cruz believes they have found places to exploit the speedy defense of Miami.
“I feel like we studied them well,” he said. “I feel like they have a lot of weaknesses, and I feel like we are going to attack them good and do what we need to do.”