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With 16 days until Virginia Tech faces Alabama in the Georgia Dome, we turn our attention to no. 16 on roster Mr. Carlis Parker. Out of high school, Parker figured to start off his career at quarterback before making the transition to wide receiver. I will admit that I expect that process to take longer than a few spring practices. Nevertheless, Parker has made the full transition to wide receiver and the fact that he enrolled early is clearly paying off for him this fall. Parker is still a good ways away from being a trustworthy receiver. As we’ve documented over the past year, the transition to wide receiver without any previous knowledge of the position is difficult. Still, Parker has a lot of upside with his athletic ability and he will be a player all Tech fans should keep an eye on over the course of the next few years.
Weight: 184 lbs
Position: Quarterback/Wide Receiver
High School: Statesville High School
Location: Statesville, North Carolina
High School Career
Parker was a dual-threat quarterback in every sense of the word at Statesville High School. He finished his senior season with 1,181 yards passing while rushing for 959 yards as well. He totaled 22 touchdowns on the year to go along with 44 tackles from the safety position.
As far as his recruitment goes, Parker held offers from Virginia Tech, South Carolina, North Carolina, Duke, ECU, and NC State. He committed to Virginia Tech on April 23rd, 2012 at the Hokies spring game.
Reasons For Excitement
Speed and Plenty of It: Parker is raw so there are some facets of his game that he’ll need to rely on to be successful. A good skill to have is great straight-line speed and the North Carolina native has plenty of that. He was clocked at a sub 4.4 forty-yard dash in high school, which is absolutely flying.
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Length and Athleticism: The upside to Parker is that he’s a full 6’3”, he’s athletic, he has long arms, and he’s the type of guy if you get him in the open field, he’s dangerous.
Causes For Concern
Turning Raw Ability Into Sound Fundamentals: As we’ve seen in the past with Marcus Davis, Dyrell Roberts, DJ Coles, and others, it’s tough making a transition from high school quarterback or running back to college receiver. That transition takes time. Parker has a lot of athletic ability but it won’t mean much if he runs sloppy routes, doesn’t perfect his footwork, and most importantly, doesn’t catch the ball. How Carlis Parker develops will be a good indication of just how well Coach Moorehead can mold his players.
What to Expect in 2013
With no depth at receiver, Parker may be in a precarious position on the depth chart. Honestly, he needs a redshirt year to devote to learning the position. However, he’s probably 6th on the depth chart now that Kevin Asante has exited stage right and Joel Caleb has moved to running back. That may mean Parker will at least dress for the first few games before the Hokies will have to make a decision on whether or not to redshirt the Statesville grad.
With a great frame to build on and a lot of raw skills, Parker will be a name to remember for the future.
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