Penn State Continues 'Healthy Dialogue' with Micah Parsons About Return

Penn State coach James Franklin says linebacker Micah Parsons is "excited" about potentially returning for the 2020 season.
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Penn State coach James Franklin on Saturday lobbied the hosts of Fox Sports' 'Big Noon Kickoff' show to help him re-recruit Micah Parsons.

"We've got a guy in Micah Parsons who's not far from you guys in LA," Franklin said. "If you could go talk to him for me, that would help."

Franklin continues to "keep the door open" for Parsons, Penn State's All-American linebacker, to return for the 2020 football season. Parsons announced his decision to opt out Aug. 6, one day before Penn State began training camp and five days before the Big Ten postponed the season.

But as the Lions prepare to resume training camp Sept. 30, Franklin continues to lobby for Parsons to return. Franklin told former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer that he has had a "healthy dialogue" with Parsons, who is "excited about the opportunity" but must make the decision himself.

"At the end of the day, if it’s the right thing for Micah and his family, then we want to be able to show him the path and the avenue to get it done here at Penn State," Franklin said.

Wyatt Davis and Shaun Wade, two of Ohio State's best players, opted back in this week after the Big Ten announced its football restart. Franklin noted that their situations are different, since Parsons opted out before training camp began and reportedly signed with an agent.

Parsons has not commented publicly on his plans. To return this season, Parsons would have to apply to the NCAA for reinstatement.

Parsons' situation would be similar to that of Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman, who opted out Aug. 4. Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said that Bateman has been granted a waiver to practice and is pursuing a return.

"Obviously it makes it more complicated the longer they've been gone," Franklin said this week. "But I also know that Micah, as well as others, probably wouldn't be in this situation if it wasn't for the circumstances we're under.

"I don't think anybody, the NCAA, the Big Ten and Penn State specifically, can just kind of put this back in the same box that it's always been in because nothing right now is like it's always been. So we'll see. As you know, I'm a positive guy, so I'm going to see if there's a way if we can work it out and get him back here if it's in everybody’s best interests."

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