Spring Practice: Day Four Notebook

Cardinal Authority will bring you football reports from spring practice each day between now and the April 13 Spring Game. Here's a notebook of items from the Cardinals' program after four practices in the spring.

WATSON UPDATES OFFENSIVE PROGRESS

After the first four practices of spring drills, University of Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said he's been overall pleased with the progress of an offense that returns seven starters.

"We are a typical spring ball team," Watson said on Monday night after practice in the Trager Center. "We have a lot of work to do.

"But it's getting better every day. We're good with our older guys. We haven't missed a beat with the veterans. The younger guys, we're not even close to where we need to be but that's OK right now. The good thing is there is that there's a lot of talent there that just has to be developed."

Watson mentioned wide receivers DeVante Parker and Damien Copeland as guys who "have flashed," also mentioning tight ends Gerald Christian and B.J. Butler, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Dominique Brown.

"We have some guys that are doing some good things," Watson said. "At times, Jalen Harrington (tight end) has really showed up well. I'm pleased.

Watson then added that, "We're not playing clean football with our (second string), which I'm not sure anybody in country is."

PARKER LOOKS ‘AWESOME'

U of L defensive coordinator Vance Bedford had high praise for junior wide receiver DeVante Parker in a tweet last week.

Bedford called him "the best receiver in the country."

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Parker had 40 catches for a team-high 744 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for the Cardinals.

Parker has been "awesome," according to offensive coordinator Shawn Watson during the first few days of practice and several coaches and teammates agree with Bedford's lofty assessment of his play.

"He's really good," Watson said. "He and Teddy (Bridgewater) are an unbelievable combination. They know each other inside and out. He's had a great camp so far. He looks awesome."

Added defensive back Calvin Pryor: "I agree (with Bedford) and I believe him and Teddy trying to take that step to another level. Just watch practice, those guys are throwing deep ball after deep ball after deep ball."

A QUICK O-LINE UPDATE

Junior right guard Jake Smith said things are "going great," with the offensive line early in the spring camp.

Smith and right tackle Jamon Brown along with left guard John Miller started last season. Sophomore Nacho Garcia is running with the first team at left tackle, while Kamran Joyer is the center.

"Nacho is doing well," Smith said. "He still has some technical issues to work on but that's just like we all do."

Smith said offensive line coach Dave Borbely can use "all kinds of combinations," with the depth he's built on the line. One player who has drawn good reviews early is 6-foot-5, 310-pound sophomore Ryan Mack.

"He's a big guy," Smith said. "He's what you look for in a lineman."

A FEW MORE SENIORS

The Cardinals had just nine seniors on the roster last season and even adding walk-ons only saw 13 players go through Senior Day festivities.

The updated roster on the U of L website lists 18 seniors on the roster for next fall, including a few walk-on players.

Bedford and Watson have both said the program isn't exactly where it needs to be with depth but as Bedford put it, "we're getting close."


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