The top-ranked uncommitted player in the class of 2018 revealed he was staying home to play for the Nittany Lions.
The top-ranked uncommitted player in the class of 2018 revealed his college decision on the first day of the early signing period. Micah Parsons is headed to Penn State, he announced on Wednesday.
Parsons’s decision comes after he made official visits to five schools: Georgia, Penn State, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Ohio State. The Buckeyes were once viewed as strong contenders to pull Parsons away from his home state, but that changed after his trip to Columbus in September and a Twitter-sparked controversy involving starting quarterback J.T. Barrett and redshirt freshman reserve QB Dwayne Haskins.
According to The Lantern, Ohio State agreed to stop recruiting Parsons after self-reporting NCAA violations related to his early September recruiting trip, when he met ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit and Ohio State legend Eddie George, among others, on the set of ESPN’s College GameDay. As The Lantern noted, recruits are not allowed to have contact with members of the media associated with former student-athletes while on official visits.
A former Penn State commit, Parsons decided to re-open his recruitment this April. He proceeded to turn in a dominant senior season at Harrisburg (Pa.) High, where he starred on both sides of the ball while leading his team to an undefeated regular season. Parsons, who was named a U.S. Army Player of the Year finalist, rates as the No. 1 weakside defensive end and No. 4 player in the class of 2018, according to the 247Sports Composite.
With Parsons off the board, only one of the top five prospects in the 247Sports Composite has yet to reveal his college choice. Cartersville (Ga.) High pro-style quarterback Trevor Lawrence (No. 1) is headed to Clemson, Harrison (Ga.) High dual-threat quarterback Justin Fields (No. 2) has committed to Georgia, IMG (Fla.) Academy defensive end Xavier Thomas (No. 3) also chose Clemson and Parsons is off to State College. American Heritage (Fla.) High cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. (No. 5) is expected to wait until February to announce where he’ll play.
Parsons could be an instant-impact player within a Nittany Lions defense that allowed 4.69 yards per play this year but loses several graduating seniors in the linebacking corps and the second level, including their top four tacklers in safeties Marcus Allen and Troy Apke and Jason Cabinda and Brandon Smith.