Micah Parsons has quickly established himself as one of the NFL‘s premier defensive players and become a focal point of the Dallas Cowboys defense, which has continued this year ahead of their Thanksgiving bout with the Washington Commanders.
How has Parsons reached this point in his young career?
Micah Parsons’ Hometown
Parsons was born on May 26, 1999, in Harrisburg, Pa., roughly a two-hour drive from Philadelphia. The town sits right on the bank of the Susquehanna River, which runs through much of Pennsylvania and down into Maryland.
He spent much of his childhood there and attended Central Dauphin High for his first two years of high school before transferring to Harrisburg High for his junior and senior years, where he burst onto the scene as a two-way standout on the football field.
Parsons was a consensus five-star recruit in high school, playing both defensive end and running back. He held scholarship offers from many of the nation’s top college football programs and ultimately elected to stay close to home.
Parsons’ Penn State Career
Parsons signed with Penn State in December of 2017 over notable offers from pretty much every prominent program in the country, including Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Clemson, and USC.
The decision to join the Nittany Lions worked out just fine for Parsons, who went on to have a stellar career with the program.
He made an instant impact as a true freshman in 2018, tallying 83 tackles (48 solo), five tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, and 1.5 sacks. Parsons’ production only ballooned in 2019 as he racked up 109 tackles (52 solo), 14 tackles for a loss, five sacks, five pass breakups, four forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery as a consensus All-American.
That gaudy production had fans and analysts alike excited to see whether he could find even another level in the following year, but Parsons instead announced on Aug. 6, 2020, that he would forego the remainder of his collegiate eligibility to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Parsons’ Fall to Dallas Cowboys in Draft
Concerns over what position Parsons would ultimately slot into at the NFL level were part of why he curiously fell out of the top 10 in the 2021 draft. He did not rush the passer much at Penn State as more of an off-ball linebacker.
Several of the selections ahead of Parsons did make sense, such as the first three teams drafting quarterbacks before Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase, and Jaylen Waddle all understandably came off the board. Ultimately, though, he was the first edge rusher-type selected at No. 12 overall to the Cowboys, who can feel pretty good about the value they got at the spot.
His ultimate arrival with the Cowboys also had some irony, given his ties to Philadelphia and the fact that the Eagles had a chance to take him 10th overall, but they instead used that pick on wide receiver DeVonta Smith.
In an alternate universe, perhaps Parsons ends up staying in his home state at the professional level. It all seemed to work out pretty well for Parsons regardless, though, given his top-level production across three seasons in Dallas.
Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more!