Parker 'puts a smile' on Bobby Petrino's face

With spring practice just a few days away, University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino talks about the potential he sees in senior wide receiver DeVante Parker. He has a chance to set several school records this season.

New University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino answered questions for about a half hour last weekend about his football team.

There were position battle questions, ones about spring ball along with several on recruiting and some on individual players.

Only one made Petrino break out a wide-eyed smile and that was a question about senior wide receiver DeVante Parker.

"He puts a smile on my face," Petrino said. "Just the thoughts of how we can use him and utilize him and get him the ball.

"He's really, really impressive."

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Parker opted to come back to school after his junior season after flirting with the notion of turning pro.

Parker is expected to be one of the top wide receivers in the country and in the Petrino system should flourish.

"I think he can run all of the routes," Petrino said. "He does a great job of getting out of his breaks and catches the ball away from his body. He works hard and he's very coachable.

"He should have a great year for us."

Parker caught 55 passes for 885 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior, averaging 16.1 yards a catch. He had 13 catches of 20 yards or more.

For his career, Parker has 113 catches for 1,920 yards and 28 touchdowns. He needs 80 yards to become just the eighth receiver in school history with 2,000 yards and six more TD catches will break the school mark for TD receptions.

"You can't help but be impressed by him," wide receiver coach Lamar Thomas said. "But there's always room for improvement.

"We want to make him an even better player than he has been here in the past."

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