It's official: Star Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons opts out of season

Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons (11) celebrates with his team following the 53-39 win over Memphis in an NCAA Cotton Bowl college football game, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Penn State All-American Micah Parsons is opting out of the 2020 season because of concerns about COVID-19.

The junior linebacker made his announcement with a social media post Thursday. He will be eligible to enter the 2021 NFL draft and is already expected to be high first-round selection.

The decision was expected and was widely reported earlier this week.

In an Instagram video, Parsons said: “As I consider all my options for the 2020 season, I decided I needed to make a choice, not for myself, but my son, and those dearest to me. While I felt safe with the health and safety standards set as we returned to Penn State for workouts, the potential risk to the health and well-being of my son far outweighed my urge to play football this season.”

Parsons said he plans to graduate from PSU in December.

"There's only one LB-U and I thank you," Parsons said.

Parsons, 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, is the third prominent player to pass on the college season and focus on draft preparation, joining Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley and Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman.

Parsons led the Nittany Lions with 109 tackles, and had 14 tackles for loss and five sacks as a sophomore last season. He ended his college career with maybe is best game. In a Cotton Bowl victory against Memphis, Parsons had 14 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles.