Micah Parsons: ‘In The Next Two Years, You’re Going To See Us In The National Playoffs’
Penn State football’s Micah Parsons spoke to the media for the first time since joining the Nittany Lions on Tuesday morning, and he definitely put his confidence on full display throughout his conference call.
Despite starting in just one game last season, Parsons led the team in tackles with 82 while playing in an unfamiliar position. He was recruited as a five-star defensive end, but his athleticism and size (6’3″, nearly 250 pounds) made his transition to outside linebacker seamless.
Parsons’ speed in closing down opponents particularly helped him become such a force on Penn State’s defense. He currently projects to replace senior Koa Farmer as a starting outside linebacker alongside Cam Brown. Jan Johnson is also expected to retain his starting role in between the two at middle linebacker.
Unlike the past two seasons, expectations aren’t sky-high for Penn State this year. Among the not-so optimistic projections are 50-1 odds to win the national championship from Vegas Insider. Regardless, Parsons feels like the 2019 season could be a special one in Happy Valley.
“When I committed early, I wanted to bring Penn State back. Me and the team are going to do that this year,” he said. “People sleep on us.”
Parsons specifically expressed his confidence in the team’s quarterback duo of Tommy Stevens and Sean Clifford, defensive coordinator Brent Pry, head coach James Franklin, and running backs Journey Brown and Ricky Slade, among others.
He thinks the combination of the skill players and linemen, who are “coming together” in his estimation, could help the offense make a lot of noise this season.
“We have so much speed, young guys, and juice [on offense],” Parsons added. “In the next two years, you’re going to definitely see us in the national playoffs, if not this year. I think it’s going to get scary for the Big Ten — I think we’re going to really surprise people this year.”
Additionally, Parsons feels like the Nittany Lions are as fast as they’ve ever been on both sides of the ball. From a personal standpoint, he feels as quick and as confident as ever, especially because of the year of experience he now has.
Parsons also touched on his “bizarre” recruiting process on Tuesday morning. His recruitment was more like a full-blown saga that left fans and reporters guessing about his collegiate future, but he ultimately signed with the Nittany Lions when all was said and done.
Buying into to James Franklin’s philosophy and plan was a big reason why Parsons landed in Happy Valley. He couldn’t be happier to be a Nittany Lion, and the player who was once recruited as heavily as any prospect in the country is now at the forefront of Penn State’s recruiting efforts.
“I tell [recruits] this isn’t the same Penn State it was five or six years ago,” Parsons said. “We’re here to win championships. It’s not about the stars, it’s about who can play football. Go to a school because you love it and want to bring championships here — that’s what I’m telling them and believing.”
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