From the Keystone State to the Lone Star state, Harrisburg and PSU alum Micah Parsons destined for NFL stardom

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The Penn State football team’s freshman class for 2018, including five-star recruit Micah Parsons, were introduced to the crowd at Beaver Stadium prior to the annual Blue White game on April 21. Parson was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. (Penn State/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Joshua Gearhart , Sports Editor

On the night of April 29th local football star, Micah Parsons, was only one phone call away from all his dreams becoming reality. Every young football player has aspirations of playing in the NFL, and last night at 8:00 p.m, those dreams were realized when Micah Parsons was selected in the first round by the Dallas Cowboys with the twelfth pick of the NFL Draft. 

 

When Micah was a youth football player, those who watched him saw his raw talent, for it’s not often you see young kids with elite playmaking ability. According to an article from abc27 “The Harrisburg native played on the Central Dauphin freshman team as an eighth-grader and started for the varsity Rams as a freshman. In fact, in his first game, Parsons blocked a punt in the final 26 seconds against Manheim Township to send the game to overtime.” 

“To say he burst onto the scene would be an understatement,” said Glen McNamee, Central Dauphin football head coach. Glen McNamee was Micah’s coach while he played at Central Dauphin. 

After just four games as a freshman, Penn State would offer Parsons to join the Nittany Lions. “That created quite a buzz within the program, the school and beyond the school,” McNamee said.

Micah was an absolute specimen, for he was gifted with NFL size as well as stunning speed. Micah eventually rose his way up in the scouting rankings until he was classified as a 5 star recruit, and the best player at his position within the state. 

According to 247 Sports’s bio on Parsons, they list him as the fifth overall player in the nation in his 2018 recruiting class, the second overall player at his position, and lastly the number one player in all of Pennsylvania. 

With all this attention came a whole lot of criticism, and none more impactful than his mid season transfer out of Central Dauphin during his junior year. This transfer was entirely brought upon by the landlord raising his moms rent. 

“Internally, I’m sure he was dealing with a lot,” said Calvin Everett, Harrisburg football head coach. “It was never something I was aware of that held him back or really bothered him. To me, he took it like a champ.”

At Harrisburg, Micah ran the show. He was a star running back who rushed for 27 touchdowns his senior year, and was also an extremely talented defensive end. “He’s an inspiration for all of our guys,” Everett said. “Everything they’re going through, he’s been through as well.”

When Parsons arrived in Happy Valley he made an immediate impact. According to GoPSUSports.com In his freshman year alone he was selected Freshman All-America by The Athletic, 247Sports and ESPN, was an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection by the media, and at the midseason mark was named to ESPN’s Midseason Freshman All-America Team and selected Midseason Freshman All-America by 247Sports.

Parsons became the first Penn State freshman to start at linebacker since Cam Brown in 2016. Parsons also notched a team high in tackles with 83 on the year, and was the first freshman to do so in Penn State football history. 

Parsons appeared in 13 games, making 12 starts. He finished the season with 10 or more tackles in three straight games and six of the final seven games. Parsons also ranked fifth in the Big Ten averaging 8.4 tackles per game. He also was sixth in the nation and third in the Big Ten with 0.31 forced fumbles per game.

Parsons also had himself a superb send off game at the 2019 Cotton bowl, as his 10th ranked Nittany Lions downed the 17th ranked Memphis Tigers 53-39. Parsons recorded 14 total tackles, 7 solo tackles and assisted on 7 tackles. He also recorded 2 sacks. 

Ironically enough this bowl game was played at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Micah’s current team!

Micah Parsons elected to forgo his final year of eligibility at Penn State this past season, and ultimately focused all of his time and energy in preparation for the NFL draft. 

Parsons hopes his dominance as a Nittany Lion will carry over to his career with the Dallas Cowboys, and Parsons is honored to still wear the blue and white. 

Parson’s strong ties to his hometown here in Harrisburg Pa have only grown stronger, for recently he was given the keys to the city. This honor is bestowed upon a valuable individual within a certain community.