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August 23, 2014
Louisville's top receiver Parker injured
Parker was Louisville's only selection to the preseason All-ACC teams. He could have turned pro after last season, but he decided to come back to UofL for his senior season.
"I didn't really think about it," Parker said on Media Day when asked about the possibility of skipping this season. "I knew I was staying. I knew I'd stay the whole time."
He ran a sub-4.4 40-yard dash at Louisville's junior day. Word has it at least one professional scout told the UofL staff that Parker would have been a first-round pick.
"No, I didn't hear any of that," Parker said with smile on Media Day.
While we don't yet know the seriousness of Parker's injury, his return in spring was decided by he and his family. He was focused on finishing school.
"I'm going to get my degree in December," he explained. "In communications."
Parker was having a tremendous fall camp. In the last open scrimmage, he made a play that made fans' jaws drop. Despite two defensive backs leaping in front of him, Louisville senior DeVante Parker elevated higher than both and plucked the ball out of the air above them and then gracefully returned to the Earth for a 25-yard gain.
A phenomenal athlete who could have lettered in Division I football, basketball or track, Parker has the uncanny ability to out-leap nearly anyone trying to cover him. It's that skill that makes him one of the most dangerous players in college football. New quarterback Will Gardner thinks Parker is a nearly unstoppable Red Zone weapon.
"He's probably the best receiver I've ever been around," Gardner said at Media Day. "He's a big, fast guy who makes all the plays you want him to make. When he's lined up one-on-one and you throw the ball to him, you know he's going to go up and get it. As long as you elevate the ball and give him a chance, he's going to make the play."
If Parker can play this season, he will almost assuredly break some important school records. In his first three seasons at Louisville, he had 28 touchdown catches, good for third all-time at UofL. Parker could pass Arnold Jackson (31) and Ibn Green (33) on UofL's all-time receiving touchdowns list.