|Garry Jones/Associated Press|
|Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker will turn pro if he is projected to be a first-round pick.|
Louisville junior wide receiver DeVante Parker will return to school unless he is projected to go "near the first round," his grandfather told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
The grandfather, Willie Parker, helped raise DeVante, the newspaper reported.
"If they're not projecting him near the first round, he's definitely going to be back for his senior year," Willie Parker told the paper.
Parker (6-foot-3, 209 pounds) is second on the team with 46 receptions, and he leads the Cardinals in receiving yards (743) and TD receptions (11, which is tied for 13th nationally). He missed one game with a shoulder injury that has bothered him since midway through the season.
Parker, a Louisville native, had 10 TD catches in 2012 and six in '11. He has excellent size, and though he doesn't have elite speed, he is quick and can get off press coverage. He has become more adept at using his size, and his vertical jump has been measured at 41 inches. A 6-3 guy who can jump like that obviously is a major weapon on the red zone.
He has 27 career TD receptions in 104 career receptions. Louisville has a deep receiving corps, and junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater does a nice job of spreading the ball around. Still, can Parker be a go-to guy, a receiver with 70-plus catches despite being the focal point of opposing secondaries? That remains a legit question.
Willie Parker told the Courier-Journal his grandson will make his final decision after the season. Louisville (11-1) plays future ACC foe Miami (9-3) in the Dec. 28 Russell Athletic Bowl. Willie Parker also said DeVante is on track to graduate next summer, before next season kicks off.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.