Coming out of high school, James Quick had all the markings of an instant star for the Louisville Cardinals. A local product from Trinity High in Louisville, Quick was the highest-rated player in the Cardinals’ 2013 class as one of the top 10 receivers in the country. But the previous Louisville coaching staff never threw their support behind Quick during his freshman season and he was a non-factor in the Cardinals’ 12-1 2013 season. With a new regime in place, can Quick break out in 2014?
The bar for improvement during his sophomore season has been set pretty low by a dismal freshman campaign. On an offense that threw the ball a lot and had 10 different players record 14 receptions or more, Quick managed just six receptions for 73 yards in nine games. Despite his talent, Quick appeared unprepared for the leap in competition from high school to college and spent his first year riding the pine because of it.
But with a whole year on campus now under his belt, Quick is better prepared to showcase his immense talent in 2014. It also helps that there’s a new coach in town in Bobby Petrino who is known for creating big-play offenses and getting the most out of the athletes on his offense. Quick showed that he’s quickly adapting to the new regime with a five-catch, game-high 152-yard performance in the spring game that included a 62-yard touchdown catch from Will Gardner.
He will be further served this fall by the presence of veteran receiver DeVante Parker on the other side taking the attention of the defense. Parker was the team’s leading receiver in 2013, catching 55 passes for 885 yards with 12 touchdowns, and will be the focal point of defensive gameplans in 2014. That will open up opportunities for Quick to win some one-on-one coverage situations and break off some big gains in the passing game.
There’s no denying that James Quick has the talent to be a difference maker at the college level but that talent never translated to the field during his freshman season. A fresh start under a new coach in a wide-open offense, however, is the perfect recipe to break Quick out of his 2013 struggles and sets him up for a monster season in 2014.