Joel Parker (American football)

Joseph Lee Parker (born April 23, 1952), nicknamed Joel Parker, is an American former college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for three seasons in the 1970s. He played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the fifth round of the 1974 NFL Draft.

Joel Parker
No. 42, 88
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1952-04-23) April 23, 1952 (age 67)
Louisville, Kentucky
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school:Clearwater
(Clearwater, Florida)
NFL Draft:1974 / Round: 5 / Pick: 113
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:585
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early yearsEdit

Parker was born in Louisville, Kentucky.[1] He was a two-sport high school All-American in football and basketball for the Clearwater Tornadoes of Clearwater High School in Clearwater, Florida.[2]

College careerEdit

Parker accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Doug Dickey's Florida Gators football team from 1971 to 1973.[3] Memorably, as a junior in 1972, he had seven catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns in the Gators' 40–0 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats.[3][4] In an era when the Gators emphasized a running offense, Parker played in 33 games and compiled 43 receptions for 644 yards and five touchdowns.[5] He graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1974.

Professional careerEdit

The New Orleans Saints chose him in the fifth round, with the 113th overall pick, of the 1974 NFL Draft, and he played for the Saints from 1974 to 1977.[6] During his 1974 rookie season, he caught 41 passes for a total of 455 yards, which is regarded as one of the top five seasons by a Saints rookie wide receiver in the history of the franchise.[7] Parker suffered a season-ending knee injury halfway through the 1975 season,[2] and did not play in 1976, but returned for his third and final season with the Saints in 1977. He appeared in 22 regular season games, and finished his three-year NFL career with 51 receptions for 585 yards and six touchdowns.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ National Football League, Historical Players, Joel Parker. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Phil Gulick, "Joel Parker: A Saint With A Bent Halo," The Evening Independent (January 27, 1976). Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  3. ^ a b 2013 Florida Football Media Guide Archived May 14, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 96, 102, 105, 152, 181 (2013). Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Jack Hairston, "Parker Comes Of Age As Dangerous Receiver, The Ledger (November 19, 1972). Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  5. ^, College Football, Players, Joel Parker Archived July 25, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  6. ^ a b, Players, Joel Parker. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  7. ^ Mike Patton, "Top Five Seasons by New Orleans Saints Rookie Receivers: Fan's Opinion," Yahoo! Sports (June 7, 2012). Retrieved July 18, 2014.


  • 2013 Florida Football Media Guide[permanent dead link], University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida (2013).
  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.
  • Proctor, Samuel, & Wright Langley, Gator History: A Pictorial History of the University of Florida, South Star Publishing Company, Gainesville, Florida (1986). ISBN 0-938637-00-2.