Strong lands 2011 star wide receiver Parker

Charlie Strong has already landed the top junior quarterback in Louisville (DaMarcus Smith). Now, Louisville's new coach has just landed a pledge from the city's best 2011 wide receiver, 6-3, 190-pound Ballard star DeVante Parker.

Charlie Strong locked down a commitment from four-star 2011 quarterback DaMarcus Smith from Seneca last week. Now, the new Louisville coach has landed a pledge from a big-time wide receiver DeVante Parker.

"I have always liked Louisville ever since I was young and decided to call Coach Strong and tell him that's where I wanted to go," Parker told Jason Higdon of "He asked me if I was sure and I said yes and he was real excited."

In a week on the job, Charlie Strong has landed commitments from Louisville's top juniors.
Parker, a 6'3, 190-pound wide receiver from Ballard, is a big local catch for Strong. Parker, who runs a 4.5-forty, led the state with 73 catches for 1,439 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.

"He's the best football player for his position that I've ever coached," Ballard coach Mike Jackson said. "DeVante's a little better football prospect than [former Oldham County standout] Donta [Smith] was. He's so long that you can put the ball up to him and he can go get it and he's real fast. He ran a 4.49 at the National Underclassmen Camp last summer. He is a fluid, No. 1 receiver kind of kid. He's also got the upper body strength to be able to go up and get balls away from people."

Parker posted huge numbers as a junior despite constant double-teaming.

"He got press coverage this year with one guy that was on him hitting him right off the ball and then another [defender] six yards behind him," Jackson said. "We went six or seven games with him getting that kind of coverage and he was still the leading receiver in the state."

Louisville beat Kentucky and Indiana out for Parker's verbal.

Parker's dad, Anthony Shelman, was a standout running at UofL in the early 1990's. Parker has been a lifelong Louisville fan.

"Louisville has always been his dream school," Jackson said. "If they would have offered last spring he would have committed at that minute. With the stuff that happened at the end of Coach Kragthorpe's tenure he's gotten to be more open with where he's going."

Notre Dame and Miami had requested game film. Ohio State had him on their recruiting board after Parker attended the Buckeye camp last summer.

"But Louisville has always been his dream school and he's got a very strong interest in Louisville," Jackson said. "He's from a close-nit family structure. His mom and grandparents are at every game of his. I would think DeVante would be very comfortable staying home."

Parker was a first team All-District honoree this year.

"He's maybe the most humble guy I've ever coached," Jackson said. "There's not a selfish bone in his body. He's a worker in practice and very coachable."

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