Micah Parsons
refer to caption
Parsons with the Dallas Cowboys in 2021
No. 11 – Dallas Cowboys
Position:Outside linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1999-05-26) May 26, 1999 (age 22)
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Harrisburg
College:Penn State (2018–2020)
NFL Draft:2021 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2021
Total tackles:84
Sacks:13
Pass deflections:3
Forced fumbles:3
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Micah Aaron Parsons (born May 26, 1999) is an American football outside linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State, where he was named a Consensus All-American, the Butkus–Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year, and the Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP as a sophomore in 2019, before being drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Early years

Parsons was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on May 26, 1999. He attended Central Dauphin High School for his freshman and sophomore years, before transferring to Harrisburg High School where he started at both defensive end and running back.

As a freshman, he tallied 121 tackles, 27 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks. As a junior, he collected 69 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks.

As a senior, Parsons posted 1,239 rushing yards, 27 rushing touchdowns (tied for ninth in the state) 99 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. He racked up 55 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 10+12 sacks and one interception.[1] Parsons also played varsity basketball.[2]

He was a five-star recruit and was ranked #4 in his class by 247Sports.com and #7 by ESPN.[3][4][5] Parsons was recruited by Nebraska, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Alabama and Penn State. On December 19, it was reported that Ohio State had committed NCAA violations because the university allowed him on the set of ESPN's College GameDay to take a picture with analyst Kirk Herbstreit. Due to the fact that Herbstreit was a former Ohio State University quarterback, it was a violation of NCAA rules as recruits are not allowed to have contact with members of the media associated with former student-athletes. As a result, Ohio State agreed to no longer recruit Parsons.[6]

Penn State University offered Parsons a football scholarship after just four games of his freshman season and he initially committed in the spring of 2016, before decommitting for a while and committing again on December 20, 2017. He graduated Harrisburg High School seven months early to expedite the enrollment process.[7][8][9]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Micah Parsons
DE, LB
Harrisburg, PA Harrisburg HS 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 4.66 Dec 20, 2017 
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   Rivals:
5/5 stars
   247Sports:
5/5 stars
   ESPN grade: 91
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "2018 Team Ranking". Rivals.com.

College career

Parsons playing for Penn State in 2019.
Parsons playing for Penn State in 2019.

After committing to Penn State, Parsons was informed by head coach James Franklin that he would start his Penn State career at middle linebacker rather than defensive end, which he played in high school. Franklin also announced that Parsons would be in contention for the starting job even though he was a true freshman.[10] In his freshman year, Parsons only started one out of 13 games for the Nittany Lions, but managed to lead the team in tackles with 82, while also making 4 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hurries and 2 forced fumbles. He became the first Nittany Lion to ever lead the team in tackles as a freshman. He started at outside linebacker against Rutgers University, after junior linebacker Cam Brown was disciplined because of a rules violation incident, with Parsons making 7 tackles (2 for loss) and a strip-sack. He had 14 tackles (one for loss) and a strip-sack against the University of Kentucky in the 2019 Citrus Bowl. He finished second in the Big Ten Freshman of the Year voting behind wide receiver Rondale Moore.

Prior to the start of his sophomore season, Parsons was named to the Butkus Award preseason watch list. He started 12 out of 13 games at middle linebacker, totaling 109 tackles (14 for loss), five sacks, 26 quarterback hurries, five deflected passes, and four forced fumbles. Parsons went on to be named the Butkus–Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year (given to the Big Ten Linebacker of the Year) and a consensus All-American.[11] Parsons was named the 2019 Cotton Bowl Classic defensive MVP after recording 14 tackles, two sacks, and two forced fumbles.

He opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic,[12] and declined his remaining years of college eligibility in favor of making himself available to the NFL in the 2021 draft.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 3+18 in
(1.91 m)
246 lb
(112 kg)
31+12 in
(0.80 m)
11 in
(0.28 m)
4.36 s 1.59 s 2.58 s 4.40 s 6.96 s 34.0 in
(0.86 m)
10 ft 6 in
(3.20 m)
19 reps
All values from Pro Day[13][14]

2021

Parsons was selected in the first round (12th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 NFL Draft.[15] He signed his four-year rookie contract, worth $17 million, on June 9, 2021.[16] In response to DeMarcus Lawrence breaking his foot in practice, before week 2, Dallas converted Parsons back to his high school position of defensive end where he saw immediate success, particularly as a pass rusher. In Week 8, Parsons had 11 tackles, including four for loss in a 20-16 win over the Vikings, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[17] From Week 9 to Week 14, Parsons recorded at least 1 sack in six straight games. His 12 sacks in his first 13 career games are the fourth-most by a rookie in NFL history behind only Julius Peppers (13), Reggie White (13) and Leslie O'Neal (12.5). Parsons would finish with 84 total tackles, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles. He was voted into the Pro Bowl, named 1st Team All-Pro by the AP, and was the unanimous Defensive Rookie of the Year.

NFL career statistics

Legend
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Comb Solo Ast Sack FF FR Yds TD Int Yds TD PD
2021 DAL 16 16 84 64 20 13.0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Career 16 16 84 64 20 13.0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

Postseason

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Comb Solo Ast Sack FF FR Yds TD Int Yds TD PD
2021 DAL 1 1 9 3 6 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 0 0 9 3 6 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Cowboys franchise records

References

  1. ^ "Micah Parsons' High School Football Stats". MaxPreps.com.
  2. ^ "Penn State commit, Harrisburg star Micah Parsons throws down monster dunk".
  3. ^ "Penn State". 247Sports.
  4. ^ "After Ohio State incident, Parsons picks PSU".
  5. ^ "Micah Parsons plans to enroll at Penn State by January 8; final Harrisburg High game next week". PennLive.com. December 22, 2017.
  6. ^ "Buckeyes report offense with recruit, GameDay".
  7. ^ "Five-star DE Micah Parsons commits to Penn State".
  8. ^ "Micah Parsons signs with Penn State: 5-star recruit returns to Lions class". 20 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-23. Retrieved 2017-12-23.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Micah Parsons will start Penn State career as a linebacker, James Franklin says". 20 December 2017.
  11. ^ Donohue, Tyler (21 December 2019). "Micah Parsons named consensus All-American: 'It's a good start'". 24/7sports. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  12. ^ Cobb, David; Sallee, Barrett. "Penn State star Micah Parsons opts out of 2020 season to prepare for 2021 NFL Draft". CBS Sports. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Micah Parsons Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  14. ^ "Micah Parsons, Penn State, OLB, 2021 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  15. ^ Wogenrich, Mark. "'He's Ready-Made for the NFL:' Who the Cowboys are Getting in Micah Parsons". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  16. ^ Wogenrich, Mark. "Micah Parsons is Standing Out in Dallas". SI.com. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  17. ^ Gordon, Grant (November 3, 2021). "Jets QB Mike White, 49ers WR Deebo Samuel among NFL Players of the Week". NFL.com.
  18. ^ Patra, Kevin. "Micah Parsons breaks Cowboys' rookie sack record". NFL. Retrieved 16 January 2022.