Kentucky is set to lose several receivers over the next couple of seasons, so replenishing the corps is an important task for the 2011 class. One player who Kentucky is highly interested in is DeVante Parker. "He's just gifted with natural ability in terms of length and speed," said Mike Jackson, Head Coach at Ballard. "You don't get that with a tall receiver. He has the ability to run away from the defense. He showed breakaway speed against teams with great speed," he finished.
Parker does have a rare combination of size at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds and speed (4.49 forty). But it wasn't always like that. "He was about 6-foot-1, 165 pounds. He put on about thirty pounds and now he's 6-foot-4. He just dominates the smaller corners he plays," said Jackson.
Receivers are often the "me, me, me" type of player, but things are different with Parker. "He's the most humble kid that I've ever coached. He's confident. I think he knows how good he is. He wants the ball in crunch time. But he never begs for the ball. He's a team first kid," Jackson finished.
"The biggest thing (he needs to improve) is knowing he's going to get doubled every game," said Jackson. "He's going to get jammed and have another kid over top of him. It's tough to get him the ball that way. But that's something that we as a staff have to work on. He does most of the technique things pretty well," Jackson continued.
At this point, there are several offers on the table for Parker. "Hes got offers from Kentucky, Indiana and Louisville. Miami, Ohio State and Notre Dame want film so they can evaluate him. Coach Kelly knew about him at Cincinnati," said Jackson.
"He told me today that he's wide open. He grew up a Louisville fan. His dad played for UL in the late 80s and early 90s. But he's pretty open," Jackson stated.
For the season DeVante had 73 catches for 1439 yards and 19.7 yards per catch. He had 12 touchdowns in 12 games. Parker also played a strong schedule, facing Male twice, Saint Xavier (Ky.) and Trinity.
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