Micah Parsons, Pat Freiermuth, Journey Brown Named to 247Sports Top-50 Players in College Football

By Nick Polak on July 28, 2020 at 2:23 pm
Penn State Head coach James Franklin (from left), outside linebacker Micah Parsons and running back Journey Brown answer questions from the media Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, after the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Max Gersh / The Commercial Appeal,
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No one knows what college football will look like this season, or if it will happen at all. But if things work out for the best, there are going to be some incredibly talented players on the field this year. 

247Sports ranked the top-50 players in the sport, and unsurprisingly, multiple Nittany Lions made the cut. Micah Parsons led the way at No. 6, followed by Pat Freiermuth at No. 30, and Journey Brown rounded out the list at No. 50. Here's what 247Sports had to say about each selection.

6. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Parsons emerged as college football’s top overall linebacker last season, leading Penn State with 109 overall tackles to go with 14 tackles for loss and five sacks. Parsons is the ideal modern linebacker, combining elite running stopping ability – his 94.8 run-stopping grade was the highest in the country, per PFF – with smooth pass-rushing instincts and the ability to cover in the open field. The consensus All-American is also just a ball of hate on the field, playing with a physicality that’s rarely seen.

30. Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

It took Mike Gesicki four years to amass 15 touchdowns at Penn State. Freiermuth has done so in half the time, tying Gesicki for the program record among tight ends last year as a sophomore. Keep in mind, Gesicki was a second-round pick and among the top players at his position as a senior. Freiermuth is an elite prospect and has a legitimate argument to be the top tight end in the country. At 6-foot-5, 259 pounds, Freiermuth is an adept blocker and is among the most reliable pass catchers in college football. He and Pitts are going to battle all year for the top tight end spot.

50. Journey Brown, RB, Penn State

This is a bit of a projection. But expect Brown to emerge as one of the nation’s top overall backs in 2020 following a promising sophomore campaign. Brown finished the 2019 season with 890 yards and 12 touchdowns on 6.9 yards per carry, the fourth-best rate nationally among those with at least 125 attempts. Penn State utilized a heavy running back rotation last year, but Brown became the team’s unquestioned No. 1 down the stretch, earning 10-plus carries across the Nittany Lions’ final seven games. Expect Brown to burst into the national spotlight this year with an increase in touches. He’ll be in the mix for the first running back taken in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Fun fact about Brown: He’s been clocked at a 4.29 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Do you think these rankings are fair? Should any other Nittany Lions have made the cut? Weigh in with a comment below!

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