Micah Parsons

American football player (born 1999)
American football player
Micah Parsons
refer to caption
Parsons with the Cowboys in 2021
No. 11 – Dallas Cowboys
Position:Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1999-05-26) May 26, 1999 (age 24)
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school:Harrisburg
College:Penn State (2018–2020)
NFL draft:2021 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
Career history
  • Dallas Cowboys (2021–present)
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Tackles:213
Sacks:40.5
Pass deflections:8
Forced fumbles:7
Touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Micah Aaron Parsons (born May 26, 1999) is an American football linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). Parsons 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 selected by the Cowboys in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. Parsons was named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year following the 2021 season.

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.[1]

As a freshman, he tallied 121 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, 10.5 sacks and one interception.[2] Parsons also played varsity basketball.[3]

He was a five-star recruit and was ranked #4 in his class by 247Sports.com and #7 by ESPN.[4][5][6] 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. As Herbstreit is a former Ohio State University quarterback, this 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.[7]

Penn State University offered Parsons a football scholarship after just four games of his freshman season. He initially committed in the spring of 2016, then decommitted, before recommitting again on December 20, 2017. He graduated Harrisburg High School seven months early to expedite the enrollment process.[8][9][10]

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 with 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. Parsons was in contention for the starting job even though he was a true freshman.[11] 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.[12] Parsons was named the 2019 Cotton Bowl Classic defensive MVP after recording 14 tackles, two sacks, and two forced fumbles.[13]

He opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and declined his remaining years of college eligibility in favor of making himself available to the NFL in the 2021 draft.[14] Despite leaving Penn State early to enter the NFL, Parsons completed his degree in criminology and graduated from Penn State in 2021.[15]

College statistics

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck FF FR Yds TD Int Yds TD PD
2018 Penn State 13 1 82 47 35 1.5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019 Penn State 13 12 109 52 57 5.0 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 5
2020 Penn State Opted out due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Career 26 13 191 99 92 6.5 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 5

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[16][17][18]
Parsons in 2021

Parsons was selected in the first round (12th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 NFL draft.[19] He signed his four-year rookie contract, worth $17 million, on June 9, 2021.[20] 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.[21] In Week 8, Parsons had 11 tackles, including four for loss in a 20–16 win over the Minnesota Vikings, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[22] From Week 9 to Week 14, Parsons recorded at least one 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).[23] Parsons finished with 84 total tackles, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles.[24] He was voted into the Pro Bowl, named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, and was the unanimous Defensive Rookie of the Year.[25][26][27] He was ranked 16th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2022.[28]

In Week 5 of the 2022 season, Parsons had two sacks, five tackles, and a tackle for loss in a 22–10 win over the defending champions Los Angeles Rams, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[29] In Week 8, against the Chicago Bears, he had a 36-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the 49–29 victory.[30] In the 2022 season, Parsons had 13.5 sacks, 65 total tackles (42 solo), three passes defended, and three forced fumbles. He had six games on the season with two sacks.[31] Parsons was named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press at the end of the year.[32]

In Week 2 of the 2023 season, Parsons recorded four tackles, three for a loss, two sacks, a pass breakup, a forced fumble and recovery in a 30–10 win over the New York Jets, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[33]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck 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
2022 DAL 17 17 65 42 23 13.5 3 3 36 1 0 0 0 3
2023 DAL 17 17 64 36 28 14.0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
Career 50 50 213 142 71 40.5 7 4 36 1 0 0 0 8

Postseason

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck 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
2022 DAL 2 2 7 4 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
2023 DAL 1 1 2 1 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 4 4 18 8 10 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

Records and achievements

Cowboys franchise records

  • Rookie sack record: 13[34]

Personal life

Parsons is a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He is a fan of Penn State wrestling, the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia 76ers.[35][36][37]

In May 2018, Parsons became the father of a son, Malcolm.[38] Parsons cited the risk that COVID-19 presented to the health and well-being of his son Malcolm as a major factor in his decision to opt out participation in the 2020 college football season.[39] Parsons welcomed a daughter on January 14, 2023.[40]

Parsons is a self-taught chess player, who uses the game to cultivate his game on the football field.[41][42][43] He played in Chess.com's BlitzChamp tournament, a rapid tournament for NFL players.

On December 8, 2022, the United States announced a prisoner swap with Russia, which led to the release of WNBA basketball player, Brittney Griner from a Russian prison.[44] In response, Parsons expressed disappointment that the US did not secure the release of Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine held in Russia, as part of the prisoner swap. On Twitter, Parsons wrote "Wait nah!! We left a marine?? Hell Nah."

On February 16, 2024, Parsons played in the NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game. Parsons shot 17 of 31 and finished with 37 points, 16 rebounds and four steals in the 100–91 victory. This performance earned him the Most Valuable Player award for the game.[45]

References

  1. ^ Linder, Brian (October 18, 2016). "Penn State commit Micah Parsons transfers to Harrisburg after accusations of 'inciting a riot,' father says". PennLive. Retrieved November 6, 2023.
  2. ^ "Micah Parsons' (Harrisburg, PA) High School Football Stats". MaxPreps.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  3. ^ Linder, Brian (January 29, 2017). "Penn State commit, Harrisburg star Micah Parsons throws down monster dunk". PennLive.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  4. ^ "Penn State 2018 Football Commits". 247Sports. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  5. ^ VanHaaren, Tom (December 20, 2017). "After Ohio State incident, Parsons picks PSU". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  6. ^ Linder, Brian (December 22, 2017). "Micah Parsons plans to enroll at Penn State by January 8; final Harrisburg High game next week". PennLive.com. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  7. ^ VanHaaren, Tom (December 19, 2017). "Buckeyes report offense with recruit, GameDay". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  8. ^ Johnson, Chris (December 20, 2017). "Five-star DE Micah Parsons commits to Penn State". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  9. ^ Berube, Allie (April 25, 2021). "11 things to know about Dallas Cowboys LB Micah Parsons". ABC27. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  10. ^ Linder, Brian (December 23, 2017). "Micah Parsons plans to enroll at Penn State by January 8; final Harrisburg High game next week". PennLive.com. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  11. ^ Beckman, Jill (March 19, 2018). "Top football recruit Micah Parsons off to strong start at Penn State". Inquirer.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  12. ^ Donohue, Tyler (December 21, 2019). "Micah Parsons named consensus All-American: 'It's a good start'". 247sports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  13. ^ "Parsons Earns Defensive MVP in Cotton Bowl Classic Win". Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. December 28, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  14. ^ Cobb, David; Sallee, Barrett (August 6, 2020). "Penn State star Micah Parsons opts out of 2020 season to prepare for 2021 NFL Draft". CBSSports.com. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  15. ^ Donohue, Tyler (February 11, 2021). "Micah Parsons reflects on graduating from Penn State in three years". 247Sports. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  16. ^ "Micah Parsons Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  17. ^ "Micah Parsons, Penn State, OLB, 2021 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  18. ^ "Micah Parsons 2021 NFL Draft Profile". insider.espn.com. Retrieved April 16, 2023.
  19. ^ Wogenrich, Mark (April 29, 2021). "'He's Ready-Made for the NFL:' Who the Cowboys are Getting in Micah Parsons". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  20. ^ Wogenrich, Mark (June 10, 2021). "Micah Parsons is Standing Out in Dallas". SI.com. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  21. ^ Lenix, Matthew (September 19, 2021). "Report: Cowboys to Move Rookie LB Micah Parsons to DE". Inside The Star. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  22. ^ Gordon, Grant (November 3, 2021). "Jets QB Mike White, 49ers WR Deebo Samuel among NFL Players of the Week". NFL.com.
  23. ^ D'Abate, Mike (June 24, 2022). "23 and Me: Cowboys Parsons Eyes Sack Record". SI.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  24. ^ "Micah Parsons 2021 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  25. ^ Berube, Allie (December 23, 2021). "Harrisburg native Micah Parsons selected to Pro Bowl in his rookie season". ABC27. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  26. ^ "Cowboys' Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, Zack Martin make NFL All-Pro first team". WFAA.com. Associated Press. January 14, 2022. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  27. ^ "AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  28. ^ "2022 NFL Top 100". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  29. ^ Baca, Michael (October 12, 2022). "Bills' Josh Allen, Saints' Taysom Hill highlight Players of the Week". NFL.com. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  30. ^ DeArdo, Bryan (October 30, 2022). "LOOK: Cowboys' Micah Parsons shows off athleticism on wild fumble return for TD against Bears". CBSSports.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  31. ^ "Micah Parsons 2022 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  32. ^ Florio, Mike (January 13, 2023). "2022 NFL All-Pro first team includes four Chiefs, four 49ers". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  33. ^ Gordon, Grant (September 20, 2023). "Bills QB Josh Allen, Eagles RB D'Andre Swift highlight Players of the Week". NFL.com.
  34. ^ Olsen, Emily (November 25, 2021). "Micah Parsons breaks Cowboys rookie record". USA TODAY. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  35. ^ Gonzalez, Isabel (May 7, 2023). "Cowboys' Micah Parsons defends wearing 76ers jersey to NBA playoff game: 'Maxey from Texas'". CBS Sports. Retrieved May 7, 2023.
  36. ^ Edmonds, Charlotte (November 2, 2022). "Micah Parsons attends and roots for Phillies in World Series". NBC Sports Philadelphia. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  37. ^ McGuire, Kevin. (January 28, 2023). Micah Parsons returns to Penn State for massive wrestling match with Iowa. Nittany Lions Wire. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  38. ^ Lavey-Heaton, Megan (May 11, 2018). "Micah Parsons is now a dad, days after making Penn State debut". PennLive.com. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  39. ^ Donohue, Tyler (August 6, 2020). "Micah Parsons explains opt-out decision, thanks Penn State". 247Sports. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  40. ^ Graham, Andrew (January 14, 2023). "Micah Parson makes huge life announcement ahead of playoff game". On3. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  41. ^ Gehlken, Michael (September 7, 2021). "Why Micah Parsons is the ultimate piece in Cowboys' chess game". Dallas News. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  42. ^ Fisher, Mike (August 10, 2021). "Cowboys' Micah Parsons: 'Queen on The Chess Board'". FanNation. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  43. ^ McGuire, Kevin (June 14, 2021). "Micah Parsons is beating his new Dallas Cowboys teammates in chess". Nittany Lions Wire. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  44. ^ Salvador, Joseph (December 8, 2022). "Micah Parsons Apologizes for Reaction to Brittney Griner's Release". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  45. ^ "NBA All-Star Celebrity Game score, highlights: Micah Parsons leads Team Shannon past Team Stephen A." sportingnews. Retrieved February 16, 2024.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Micah Parsons.
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