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James Franklin Confirms Micah Parsons Won’t Return To Penn State Football

Penn State football head coach James Franklin confirmed star linebacker Micah Parsons won’t return to the team this fall.

During a virtual press conference, Franklin reiterated there was a “legitimate possibility” Parsons could return, especially after Ohio State’s Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis, Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield, and Minnesota receiver Rashod Batemen successfully returned after opting out.

However, Franklin said that door has closed.

“That won’t be happening,” Franklin said. “We understand the decision.”

Parsons’ opt-out was originally reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel and later confirmed by the star linebacker through an elaborate Instagram post.

“My opportunity has finally arrived. As I considered all my options for the 2020 season, I decided I needed to make a choice,” Parsons said in August. “The potential risk to the health and wellbeing of my son far outweighed my urge to play football this season. Therefore, I decided that I will opt out of the 2020 season and prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.”

In 2019 alone, the star linebacker racked up a team-high 109 tackles, five sacks, five pass deflections, and four forced fumbles. Additionally, he was named the Big Ten’s Linebacker of the Year and a consensus All-American to round out an undeniably great career.

Parsons now plans to turn his attention to training for the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s currently projected to be a unanimous first-round pick by draft analysts and received the sixth-best odds to become the No. 1 overall pick.

Parsons is the only known Nittany Lion to opt out of the upcoming season. Although Pat Freiermuth’s departure was rumored, he never officially left and will play this fall.

Penn State football’s 2020 season will begin on Saturday, October 24, when it matches up against Indiana on the road. The Big Ten has yet to finalize a kickoff time or broadcast destination.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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