Nebraska has one of the biggest recruiting weekends in school history this weekend against Wisconsin with a number of high-profile visitors scheduled to be on campus. Throughout the week, I’ll pick a few visitors to evaluate. Monday, I took a look at Texas wide receiver Tommy Bush. Tuesday, I took a look at 4-star defensive back commit Chase Williams. Wednesday, I took a look at the top running back on Nebraska’s board, 4-star TJ Pledger.
Today, I will take a look at the likely top overall target for Nebraska in 2018, Micah Parsons. The 5-star from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is primarily being recruited to play defensive end, which is the position he plays on defense in high school. However, Nebraska sees him as the perfect fit for the CAT linebacker position and believe that is his best position long-term.
He has the size to play rush end, speed to play in space and the athleticism to perhaps be the best running back in the state of Pennsylvania this year. Those of us in attendance at the June 23 Friday Night Lights camp saw that athleticism on full display as he lined up at wide receiver and torched multiple 4-star defensive backs.
Let’s start with Parsons’ speed and quickness off the ball. That explosiveness makes him a nightmare to defend, and his speed would serve him well as a 3-4 outside linebacker in coverage or making plays in space.
With the versatility within Bob Diaco’s defense, I imagine you’d see Parsons be able to line up with his hand in the dirt and get after the passer on third down situations just like this clip below.
Sometimes, you worry about guys who are tremendous speed rushers in high school because they could have a tendency to shy away from mixing it up. Finding a player with the type of speed Parsons possesses but also possessing legitimate toughness is rare. He is that type of player, and you see it on both sides of the football.
All high school defenders need work on their hand placement and technique but Parsons has a good foundation with both. Back at the Friday Night Lights camp in Lincoln, both John Parrella and Trent Bray both worked quite a bit with Parsons giving him tips on how to best use his hands to continue to round out his game.
He already has the innate ability to shed blocks and go make a play for his football team. This will be a key attribute as he would take blockers on and need to shed them as the CAT in Diaco’s defense.
Nebraska is facing stiff competition from home-state Penn State – Parsons was once verbally committed to the Nittany Lions – and Ohio State where he and his family are comfortable with Larry Johnson. Nebraska will pull out all the stops when he and his parents are here this weekend.
Parsons is priority one for Nebraska for good reason. There is a glaring hole currently in Nebraska’s defense that is being managed around, and I believe Parsons would fill that void the day he stepped on campus. When you are trying to quickly change the trajectory of your program, this is the type of player to land.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.