Micah Parsons has officially helped restore the shine to Penn State’s most famous position.
Is this just the beginning of another all-star run at Linebacker U.?
Parsons, a Harrisburg native, became a big-name All-America linebacker on Monday when the Associated Press and ESPN named him to their first team selections.
He is the first Nittany Lion All-America linebacker since Mike Mauti in 2012 (ESPN) and the first to earn the coveted AP honor since Dan Connor cleared the award circuit a dozen years ago.
Parsons earned recent All-America status from Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Focus. He also was chosen as the Big Ten Linebacker of the Year and was named a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker.
He was honored Sunday as Penn State’s most valuable defensive player during the annual team banquet.
Parsons leads the team in tackles this season with 95, including 11 tackles for loss and three sacks — and with the Cotton Bowl still to play.
Still, it feels as if he’s still only coming into his own as a college defender.
Parsons made his choice to join Penn State two years ago this week, instantly becoming the school’s highest-rated recruit in more than a decade. Last year, he led the Lions in tackles while learning how to play linebacker. He was a defensive end and running back at Harrisburg High.
Now, he may starting another big run at the position similar to the one that included Connor, Paul Posluszny, Sean Lee and NaVorro Bowman.
Next year, Parsons should team with former 5-star recruit Brandon Smith, 4-star Lance Dixon and promising juniors Jesse Luketa and Ellis Brooks.