Douglas emerging as go-to receiver

Louisville coach Bobby Petrino had to find replacements this spring for his top two receivers from last season. As this Friday's spring game nears, it's becoming apparent that 5-11 junior Harry Douglas is ready to pick up the slack.

Harry Douglas has emerged this spring as the Louisville Cardinals go-to wide receiver. That fact shouldn't come as a surprise to fans who have watched the elusive speedster produce on the field the past two seasons.

Douglas has stepped out of the shadows of departed standouts Joshua Tinch, Montrell Jones and Broderick Clark this spring. During Saturday's scrimmage, Douglas looked like former Louisville great Arnold Jackson, catching passes and making plays all over the field. He hauled down tough passes in traffic, and then used his speed to get behind the defense to make big plays down the field.

"It was a good hard-core scrimmage," said Douglas. "One thing Coach (Petrino) wanted to do was make us do a long scrimmage so when we get tired we can still produce on the field."

And produce Douglas did. Though stats weren't available for the scrimmage, Douglas caught at least eight passes and had well over 100 yards during the 143-play scrimmage. Next season, Douglas better be prepared because the ball will be coming his way early and often.

"I'm ready for it," he said.

As a sophomore, Douglas caught 27 passes for 457 yards. Don't be surprised if he doubles – or triples – those numbers next fall. Besides helping to take up the slack with the departures of Tinch, Jones and Clark, Douglas wants to provide leadership for a young, but talented, group of receivers.

"The receivers that left last year were a big part of our offense, not just catching the ball, but leadership-wise," Douglas said. "I'm just trying to take up their slack. That's important, especially with the receiving group we've got now with a lot of young guys."

Despite the receiving corps' relative youth – four sophomores (Mario Urrutia, Pat Carter, Chris Vaughn and Corey Thompson) and one redshirt freshman (Scott Long) have seen extensive action in the two-deep this spring – Douglas has been impressed with his unit's collective talent and ability.

"I think it's a real good (corp)," Douglas said. "We're deep at every position, and that makes everyone work harder in practice everyday because if you slip up one day the next person is in there. Everybody is fast, everybody can catch the ball, and everybody can break tackles."

Douglas also stands out for another reason – he's one of the smallest receivers in Paul Petrino's jumbo-sized receiving corp. With Urrutia, Carter, Thompson, and Long each standing 6-3 or taller, the 5-11, 170-pound Douglas says being the smallest isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"They give me a big advantage," Douglas said of his taller teammates. "A lot of teams like to key on Mario and the bigger receivers. That makes it easier for me to slip in there and make catches."

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