Parker did little things; then found end zone

University of Louisville sophomore DeVante Parker had six touchdowns as a freshman last season but it took five games for him to get into the end zone as a sophomore. But Parker is still one of the top wide receivers on the team but is helping the offense in more ways that catches.

University of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater knew it was only a matter of time before sophomore wide receiver DeVante Parker found the end zone this season for the Cardinals.

And offensive coordinator Shawn Watson was excited that Parker was helping the U of L offense in more ways that catching TD passes.

"Guys out here were messing with DeVante, saying he was in a slump and everything," said Bridgewater, noting Parker hauled in six touchdowns in the 18 catches he had during his true freshmen season.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Parker had nine catches for 129 yards during the first four games of the season. But he didn't have a touchdown.

Two weeks ago, Parker hauled in a 29-yard touchdown catch from Bridgewater on The Opening drive of a win at Southern Mississippi. He has 11 catches for 166 yards and the one TD this season.

"It was good to see him get back into the end zone," Bridgewater said.

Added Parker: "I felt like I had to show up. I put some extra work in and kept working hard. I wasn't worried, I was just trying to help my team."

Watson said Parker was "never out of the mix" among the pass catchers but was garnering more attention from opposing defenses. He added that Parker was "doing other things to help us win," besides catching TDs.

"He has learned to do the little things, the things in high school you don't have to do," Watson said. "We call it plumbers work; a hard days work.

"He learned to be that kind of physical player. We ask him to do a lot for us and he's really improved and come through for us."

Parker has made several big down field blocks for Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright so far this season and noted he kept running his routes, trying to draw the defensive focus to his side.

I felt like I was doing my job to get other receivers open and when they were making plays, get somebody else open," Parker said. "I just kept working hard and doing whatever they needed me to do."

Bridgewater has hit 12 different receivers through five games and seven of those players have caught TD passes. Fullback Nick Heuseris the only player with more than one TD catch and he has a pair.

But Bridgewater and Watson both believe Parker will remain a top target and his numbers are likely to rise in coming weeks.

"DeVante is one of those guys, he's always in the right place at the right time," Bridgewater said. "He does it all for us."

As a freshman, the former Ballard High School All-State performer caught 18 passes for


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