Louisville's WR's more talented in 2011

Though Louisville lost its most experienced receiver [Doug Beaumont] from last year's team, Ron Dugans, the Cardinals wide receiver coach, believes his unit has more talent this season.

Though Louisville lost its most experienced receiver [Doug Beaumont] from last year's team, Ron Dugans, the Cardinals wide receiver coach, believes his unit has more talent this season.

The key for Louisville's receiving corps, according to Dugans, is staying healthy. That wasn't easy to do during the spring, as Andrell Smith, Damian Copeland, and Michaelee Harris sat out practice with injuries.

"We're talented, but we've just got to stay healthy," Dugans said. "That's been our biggest deal, just staying healthy."

Harris, a former four-star recruit, was expected to make a big impact last season as a freshman. Harris created a lot of buzz with his playmaking ability during fall camp last year, but sustained a knee injury that forced a redshirt season.

That wasn't the end of Harris' injury troubles. The Miami native suffered another knee injury that forced him to miss spring practice. Now healthy, Dugans hopes the 6-1, 200-pound wide receiver can stay on the field and out of the training room.


Josh Bellamy is the leader of a more talented wide receiver corps for Louisville.
"He's working hard and running well," Dugans said. "I told him he needs to start drinking milk or eating vegetables, something. He's always hurt. Hopefully he's not a kid that stays in the training room. His spirits are up and he's doing some good things this off-season working out with the team and running. Hopefully, when we get to the fundamental drills his knee will hold up."

Josh Bellamy, a former junior college star, is Louisville's leading returning pass catcher. Dugans hopes that Bellamy will elevate his game during his senior campaign after making 29 receptions for 401 yards and five touchdowns last season.

"He's still got a ways to go," Dugans said. "I think he can get over that hump and be a good player, but he's got to be a disciplined player first."

Though Andrell Smith missed spring practice with an injury, Dugans believes that 6'3, 210-pound junior could be poised for a breakout season after recording 25 receptions for 377 yards and three scores last season.

"Last year was really his first year playing -- He played on special teams as a freshman," Dugans said. "I'm expecting some great things from him because he got a lot of mental reps during the spring and I think he has matured off the field."

Two freshmen – DeVante Parker, a four-star recruit from Ballard H.S., and Eli Rogers, an Under Armour All-American – could play key roles this season.

"Hopefully Eli and DeVante can come in and contribute for us," Dugans said. "They're working with our strength and conditioning coach and doing a good job with him trying to get faster, stronger. I'm looking for some big things from them and looking forward to working with those guys and getting them prepared to possibly play this year."

Parker, the top receiver in the Commonwealth last season, could emerge as a big-play threat downfield for the Cardinals with his impressive combination of size (6-3, 200) and 4.5 speed in the forty-yard dash.

"He did some great things in high school," Dugans said. "I hope he can deliver a lot (on the field). I think he can be that guy (downfield). We've just got to see what he does against pressure and coverage. Does he get off a jam? Does he still high-point the football? We've got to see how well he learns and gets the offense down and is able to go full speed."


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