As Bobby Petrino gets set to lead the Louisville Cardinals into the ACC in 2014, you can bet that the Cards will be throwing the ball a ton this fall. While that’s good news for the team’s leading returning receiver DeVante Parker, there will undoubtedly be more opportunities for to spread around in this offense. Could tight end Gerald Christian seize an expanded role and become a featured part of the offense in 2014?
The former Florida Gators transfer stepped into the starting lineup for Louisville last season and was one of their more productive pass catchers. He finished the season fourth on the team with 28 receptions for 426 yards and four touchdowns. His 15.21 yards per reception were second on the team among receivers with at least 20 receptions behind only Parker who averaged 16.09 yards per catch.
With a new head coach who likes to spread it out on offense and the team breaking in a new quarterback under center, Christian figures to be a much bigger part of the offense going forward. At 6-foot-3, 242 pounds, the senior has the size to mix it up on the line of scrimmage and the athleticism to be a matchup problem for linebackers across the middle. Providing a physical presence in the passing game in the middle of the field could be a huge boost to the Cardinals’ offense this season.
For Louisville to find success under Petrino in the ACC, they will have to find multiple weapons in the passing game to open up the offense. While Parker is already an elite playmaker on the outside, having Gerald Christian emerge in the middle of the field will be a huge key to quick success for the Cardinals in 2014.