Even though Micah Parsons didn't play for Penn State last season after opting out due to COVID-19 concerns, one coach has no questions about the star linebacker's talent heading into the 2021 NFL draft.
Per Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, an unnamed coach said that Parsons is a "future Hall of Famer" and a player who "always shines in the biggest moments."
Parsons has been regarded as one of the top defensive players in this year's draft class since 2019.
Before Parsons made the decision to opt out of playing last year, NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah noted the Nittany Lions star had the ability to be one of the five best players in college football:
"First of all, he has a big, athletic build for the position. His play speed is excellent and he has the versatility to play off the ball or on the edge. As an inside linebacker, he possesses a trait that is rare in today's college game: He can physically take on blocks. He attacks guards and can escape to make plays after a collision. He did the same versus the fullback in the Iowa game last season. He eats up ground in a hurry when chasing plays to the perimeter and is a very reliable tackler."
Jeremiah also compared Parsons to current Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith when he was coming out of Notre Dame. Smith wound up being selected No. 34 overall in the 2016 NFL draft but likely would have gone much higher if not for a torn ACL and LCL suffered against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
As a sophomore two years ago, Parsons was a consensus All-American, All-Big Ten first team selection and won the Butkus–Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year Award given to the best player at the position in the conference. He finished the year with 109 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss and five sacks.