I am not sure when the last time is that you watched the NFL Pro Bowl, or when I watched it for that matter. But this Sunday (January 31), the 2016 version of the NFL’s “all-star” game will feature four former Louisville Cardinals. Teddy Bridgewater, Gary Barnidge, Eric Wood, and Elvis Dumervil will all be hanging out in Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium playing some football and representing their respective NFL teams, as well as the Cards of course.
They do things differently now. There is a draft, so it is not really the NFC vs AFC anymore. That draft happens Wednesday evening. Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin are the team captains and will pick their rosters. The game will be Sunday at 7:00 on ESPN.
Having several classes at UofL with Gary Barnidge way back in the day about 8-10 years ago (wow, really?), I can attest that he is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. That’s why I have been so happy to see him have a career season this year for the Cleveland Browns. What is more important is the work he does off the field, and that is what he is being recognized for now, as he was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year for the Browns.
Kentucky was supposed to challenge the Cards in 2006. Not so much. Cards win 59-28.
As winners of five of their last six games, the Cardinals are looking to earn bowl eligibility for a sixth straight season when they face their new conference rivals, the Virginia Cavaliers. The Cavaliers, however, must win to keep their hopes of bowl eligibility alive.
The Cardinals and Cavaliers played last season in early September. The Cards jumped to an early 7-0 lead, but sacks and turnovers ultimately doomed Louisville. A fumbled punt by Louisville led to an Ian Frye 42-yard field goal with 3:42 left to lead the Cavaliers to a 23-21 upset over the #21 Cardinals.
We have just seen a college career come to an end that we won’t soon forget. There are surely going to be some good wide receivers come in and play for UofL over the next several years. And the best ones will undoubtedly be compared to DeVante Parker. He has set a bar that will be nearly impossible to reach. The combination of his talent along with him being a hometown kid just make him one of the biggest fan favorites to ever come through the UofL football program.
Although he missed the first 7 games of his senior season, Parker still climbed to (or near) the top of many different categories in the UofL history books. So there will always be that “what if” factor with Parker’s numbers, especially because 6 of those first 7 games were said to be the “easier” part of the 2014 schedule. No telling what kind of numbers he would have put up against teams like Murray State, Syracuse, and Miami (again).
Here are where his final numbers rank in some of the wide receiver categories in UofL history…
Back in July, I posted some of the all-time receiving records at UofL and showed where DeVante Parker ranked in those categories. Obviously, there wasn’t any need to update them during the season since he missed the first 6 games. But now since he is back, and back with a vengeance, I figured it would be ok to update the stats now. So here is where DeVante ranks among the all-time UofL greats. Keep in mind, he still has 3 games to play.
1. 299 Arnold Jackson, 1997-00
2. 217 Ibn Green, 1996-99
3. 187 J.R. Russell, 2001-04
Here is how the former Cards performed in week 9 of the NFL season…
Harry Douglas (Atlanta): 3 receptions for 82 yards. Also had 1 solo tackle in 34-10 loss to Carolina.