It’s somehow been a relatively quiet true freshman season for Micah Parsons. Despite entering Penn State as the most ballyhooed commit since Derrick Williams following a journey on the recruiting trail that took many twists and turns, Parsons has mostly kept his head down to have a solid year right of the gates. He’s continued to improve with each outing, and is now Penn State’s leading tackler (with one more than MIKE linebacker Jan Johnson) despite still technically being a reserve and sharing time with Koa Farmer.
But players like Parsons aren’t just meant to be quietly productive. They make plays that few others can— the type that can quickly change the momentum and outcome of each game. Right on cue, we’ve seen more and more of this type of big-play ability from Parsons as he has nearly a full year under his belt.
Parsons was all over the place on Saturday at Rutgers. He wasn’t just serviceable, but flat-out dominating at times. He finished the game with a team-leading five solo tackles (seven overall), chipped in two TFLs, and had his first solo sack, which also created a highlight-reel worthy fumble.
Parson’s eye-popping sack in the first quarterback was something that we should be seeing with much more regularity moving forward. In Lavar-esque fashion, Parsons raced past the helpless left guard and drilled Rutgers quarterback Artur Sitkowski with such force it dislodged the ball for Penn State’s taking. The play should have set up a potential fumble recovery for a touchdown, or at least set up the offense deep in Scarlet Knights’ territory, but somehow the Nittany Lions defense was unable to recover. While it was a missed opportunity, something tells me there will be many other times in the future where Parsons finds a way to separate the football from a hapless ballcarrier in the future.
DE Shareef Miller– Once again, Miller terrorized the opposing backfield throughout the afternoon. He finished second on the team with seven tackles, and chipped in a sack and 2.5 TFLs.
DT Robert Windsor– It was another strong effort for the reigning Big Ten Degensive Player of the Week. Windsor had an active day from his inside spot, collecting six tackled, a sack and two TFLs. The redshirt junior has really come along nicely toward the end of his first season as a starter.