Position series: Wide receivers

Cardinal Authority is running a position series as a preseason football feature to help you get familiar with the entire University of Louisville roster. Our third installment provides a look at the Cardinals wide receivers.


The University of Louisville football team has a No. 9 and the squad also has a wide receiver named DeVante.

But the Cardinals don't have a DeVante Parker.

The Cardinals averaged 50 more yards passing a game with Parker, now with the Miami Dolphins, in the lineup last season and now have to replace the first-round NFL Draft pick.

"You don't replace a DeVante Parker," offensive coordinator Garrick McGee said. "We just have to use all of the guys we have, and we like the guys we have, and try to use them to the best of their abilities.

"But it's hard to replace a guy like DeVante.

Wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas said in a recent interview that he will try to fill the hole left by Parker with a bunch of guys, including junior James Quick who has become the leader of the wide receiver group.

UAB transfer Jamari Staples is a player who can become a main target at U of L, along with Texas A&M transfer JaQuay Savage and true freshmen Devante Peete, Traveon Samuel and Emonee Spence.

Thomas said he has "good depth" and a lot of talent in the group.

"To replace a DeVante Parker, it takes a group," Thomas said. "That guy was a very special guy. But I think in time these guys will develop into their own DeVante Parkers. It will take everybody."


James Quick, Junior

The highest-ranked recruit in school history is the veteran and leader of the wide receiver group and said he knows this season is "my time to step up," after catching 36 passes last season.

Quick became the go-to guy when Parker was out and finished second on the team with 566 yards receiving. The coaches worked with him in the offseason on concentration and trying to eliminate the drops.

Quick has also been moved into the slot position and should be the main weapon.


Javonte Bagley, Sophomore

Early in fall camp last season, Bagley generated a lot of chatter from the coaches and the fans watching open practices. He ended up playing in four games and caught two passes for 18 yards.

The tall, athletic receiver hasn't had a lot of attention in the offseason but should be one of the top targets.

Bagley finished with a great spring and made some plays down the field in scrimmages. He should be one of the prime targets for the U of L offense from the get-go.


***Staples played one year at UAB under McGee and then left when that program was folded in the spring. He picked U of L over Auburn and participated in spring ball.

***Savage, known previously as Jaquay Williams, played at Texas A&M and sat out last year at U of L. He played in 10 games and caught five passes during the 2013 season.

***Peete, Spence, Samuel and Jaylen Smith were key members of the recruiting class. Samuel was here in the spring and participated in spring ball before he was injured. All four could pay for the Cardinals this season.

***Smith is from Pascagoula, Miss., and attended the same high school as U of L assistant Terrell Buckley.

***Alphonso Carter is another junior-college transfer but has been slowed by injuries in fall camp.

***Pat Thomas is a former quarterback and played that position until the spring.

***Dontez Byrd is a former walk-on from Ballard who received a scholarship this week and could see time.


***Check out from yesterday a video about the wide receiver position and also the feature on potential WR star James Quick.

***Our third day of the position series comes with a look at the offensive line position.

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