Micah Parsons’ ‘rollercoaster’ journey from pee wee football to Penn State
The long and winding road of Micah Parsons, the five-star recruit from Harrisburg who Penn State simply refused to let get away.
Micah Parsons’ unceremonious introduction to football began with a punch to the solar plexus. It was quickly followed by pushups to exhaustion.
Parsons was all of 5 years old.
Micah’s father, Terrence Parsons, said he brought his youngest son to the home of late Harrisburg Packers founder Charles Chisholm. The three stood on Chisholm’s porch, as the pee wee league founder put Micah through the unusual tryout.
At its conclusion, “Coach Chis” simply nodded at the boy, already bigger than his peers, and said, “He’ll do.”
The real revelation would come when Micah first stepped on a football field. From the beginning, he was stronger, faster and more instinctual than the rest. Best of all, Micah relished the physical aspects of the game – tackling and being tackled, at least on those rare occasions when he was.
Micah Parsons found his first football success on pee wee league fields in Harrisburg.
Parsons had a passion for the game. He’d play any position. He’d do anything he was asked. So much so, he was quickly dubbed “The Waterboy,” a reference to the Adam Sandler comedy in which an unlikely player becomes a feared linebacker.
“He was not a practice player,” said Darrin Mosley, who coached a 6-year-old Micah. “If you put him in the game, Parsons would do anything you wanted him to do. Parsons wanted to do everything. He wanted to do it all.”
A dozen years later, the 6-3, 240-pound Parsons is looking to parlay his pedigree as a five-star recruit into starting as a true freshman at linebacker for Penn State, a.k.a. “Linebacker U.”
It reads like a Hollywood script. The talented kid from Pennsylvania’s capital city out to help mold the Nittany Lions’ defense into championship form.
Yet Parsons’ path from pee wees to Penn State has been anything but smooth or direct. In fact, every detour has been met with controversy, some of it courted by Micah’s own social media activity that can be both prolific and misunderstood.