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Meet The 2018 Class: Five-Star DE/LB Micah Parsons

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Taking a prospect-by-prospect look at Penn State’s elite 2018 recruiting class.

SBNation

After committing to Penn State as a sophomore, Parsons backed off of his pledge to the Nittany Lions in April 2017. It appeared that he would be playing his college ball at Ohio State, but after a whacky recruitment, Parsons made his way back home, making the call for Penn State on December 20th.

Vitals

Position Hometown High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank
Position Hometown High School Height/Weight 247Composite Rank
Defensive End Harrisburg, PA Harrisburg H.S. 6-foot-3, 245 pounds Five-star (0.9984)

Highlights

Scouting Report

Most of Parsons’ senior film is of him at running back, but his future will be on the defensive side of the ball. At 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, Parsons has the size and athleticism to excel at defensive end or linebacker. As an edge rusher, Parsons is an absolute terror getting after the quarterback. He’s incredibly explosive, and has the first step and bend to match. Although he doesn’t have elite 6-foot-5 size, he has a long wingspan that should be utilized to fight off longer offensive tackles.

While Parsons didn’t play a whole lot of linebacker in high school, he has elite instincts and the athleticism to make the transition. Like fellow signee Nick Tarburton, I expect him to eventually outgrow the position, but Parsons’ athletic metrics compare favorably to former Northwestern linebacker Anthony Walker Jr, so a stop at linebacker early in Parsons’ career shouldn’t be a surprise.

Beyond his gifts athletically, Parsons is one of the fiercest competitors in the country. He was always attending camps looking to prove himself against the absolute best. Whether it was lining up at defensive end, linebacker, or even wide receiver, Parsons never shied away from a challenge, something that will serve him well as the talent-level increases at the next level.

Outlook

James Franklin stated that Parsons will start out at middle linebacker this spring, and take things from there. I think it’s a lot to ask a true freshman to play middle linebacker right away, let alone one who hasn’t really played the position. But if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s Parsons. His combination of athleticism, instincts, and tenacity will rightfully draw comparisons to Lavar Arrington, so I wouldn’t doubt Parsons to pick up the position pretty quickly.

While Penn State’s depth issue is what’s causing Parsons to start at linebacker, make no mistake about it, he’ll end up at defensive end. He’s just too natural of a edge rusher not to get after the quarterback on a full-time basis. Once he makes the move to D-End, his potential is that of an All-American type career. He’s truly the best football prospect Penn State has landed in a long, long time, and it shouldn’t take long for Parsons to make a big time impact in Happy Valley.