BEAVERTON, Ore. — Quarterbacks Justin Fields and Matt Corral aren’t the only 5-star recruits Florida has a shot to land.
The Gators are also in the mix for Micah Parsons, the nation’s No. 1 weakside defensive end and No. 4 overall recruit.
Parsons received an offer from Florida on April 10 and de-committed from Penn State two weeks later. Florida’s track record of producing NFL defensive linemen impresses him.
“Florida is definitely on the rise,” Parsons told SEC Country at The Opening. “Florida is more known for DBs, but I know they’ve put a few guys in the league. They would’ve had another first-round draft pick if [Caleb Brantley] didn’t get into that false scandal.”
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound pass rusher plans to visit Florida in the near future. Parsons has some high expectations for the trip after discussing the school with 5-star quarterback Justin Fields and Gators running back commit Iverson Clement.
“I just gotta get out there,” Parsons said. “If not this summer then definitely in the season. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve heard a lot about Gainesville actually.
“Justin told me it’s real nice. Some of the players told me it’s nice. Iverson told me from the campus to the football team, everything is just amazing.”
Fields and Parsons are both former Penn State commits and became friends through their recruitments. Parsons said he met Clement last year at a regional camp for The Opening and has maintained a relationship with him.
“We know each other pretty well,” Parsons said of Clement, who is also recruiting Fields. “It’s good because you always want to have a brother or two there. That transition from high school to college is always difficult.”
Micah Parsons package deal?
In addition to Clement and Fields, Parsons also could potentially attend Florida with one of his high school teammates. Shaquon Anderson-Butts, a 4-star wide receiver from Harrisburg, Pa., also landed an April offer from the Gators.
“My friend Shaquon Anderson-Butts is really interested, so you never know how the cards may play out,” Parsons said. “Once me and him both got the offer, we got really interested in Florida. It’s just a two-hour plane ride for us. It’s really not that far.”
Florida defensive line coach Chris Rumph is the primary recruiter for Parsons. Rumph’s pitch to Parsons centers around playing time and how his skill set fits the team.
“They need guys with versatility like me, coming off the edge,” said Parsons, who worked out as a linebacker at The Opening. “They only have one guy like that and he’s a sophomore, so they’re lacking depth at that position.
“Coach Rumph is a pretty cool guy. We FaceTime here and there. He’s someone I can relate to personally. There’s definitely a lot of diversity on Florida’s staff so I like that a lot.”
Parsons plans to decide in January and said he’s considering Florida along with Florida State, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State. He brushed off assumptions that he will end up with the Buckeyes, who hosted him on a visit right before his de-commitment.
“Everybody has their opinion,” Parsons said. “Everything is up for grabs right now.”