Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Carlis Parker (16) runs the ball against the UCLA Bruins defense at Sun Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports
Carlis Parker was a four-star athlete out of North Carolina that was committed to the Hokies but was probably very much of an unknown entering this past season. Of course, Parker did not touch the field much at all during the regular season and seemed like a player that would end the season with no numbers or at best one catch despite the fact that he even made a start at wide receiver against Boston College. However, Parker enters the 2014 season as a fairly well known player and that was due to his performance in one game.
The Sun Bowl was a very rough game for the Hokies but this game did see one player emerge out of nowhere and ask ourselves, who is that player? That man was Carlis Parker as he stepped up and proved that he is a guy for the future in Blacksburg.
Carlis Parker would not catch a single pass in that game but Parker would make a impact running the ball. Parker showed off some very good speed and agility as he would be used on a jet sweep and have six carries for 40 rushing yards in this game. All of a sudden, Parker had showed that he had the potential to be a dangerous weapon and at 6-3, the hype surrounding Parker took off as he looked like a man with big time potential.
Then, Carlis Parker had the chance to prove this spring that he was going to be a guy that could live up to the hype in the future and lay the groundwork to gain some big playing time this fall. Parker ended up being behind Joshua Stanford on the depth chart but most people see him as the fourth receiver on the depth chart to his lack of in-game experience at the college level compared to Joshua Stanford, Demitri Knowles, and Willie Byrn.
This fall, Parker should get those opportunities.
Carlis Parker has tremendous upside and with his combination of speed, size, and agility; defensive coordinators will have to make sure they are ready for the potential of Parker to be used as a game changer. The Hokies have had some pass catchers make some big strides over the last 12 months including Joshua Stanford and Kalvin Cline but Parker has also shown improvement.
This fall, Carlis Parker might have been in on a low number of snaps last season but Parker is ready for this opportunity now that he has had a full spring to develop. Parker has worked hard and this could be the year where he makes big strides and becomes a breakout target just like Stanford last season. Parker is ready to breakout and once he does, he could become a big time star not only for the Hokies but also in the ACC and possibly all of college football.