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Sources: Penn State LB Micah Parsons expected to opt out, declare for 2021 NFL draft

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Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons is expected to opt out of the 2020 college football season and declare for the 2021 NFL draft, sources told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday night.

Parsons is expected to make the decision official Wednesday morning. Multiple people close to the Penn State program are expecting him to leave barring a last-minute change of heart.

Penn State's Micah Parsons is expected to opt out of the college season and declare early for (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
Penn State's Micah Parsons is expected to opt out of the college season and declare early for (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)

Although off-the-ball linebackers don’t often crack the top 10 picks, Parsons could be an exception. He’s widely viewed as the best linebacker potentially available next year and a sure first-round pick as things stand now.

At 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, running an estimated 4.4-second 40-yard dash, Parsons possesses elite athleticism.

That’s now the third big-name player to opt out of the 2020 college season, following Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley and Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman.

Parsons, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was a five-star prospect who stayed in-state for college, choosing to play for James Franklin and Penn State. He played defensive end in high school and moved to middle linebacker upon his arrival at PSU.

Parsons made an immediate impact for the Nittany Lions and ended up leading the team with 82 tackles as a true freshman. He followed that up with 109 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2019 as a sophomore, earning All-American honors and the Big Ten Linebacker of the Year Award in the process.

Sam Cooper contributed to this report.

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