Penn State Football has a long, proud tradition of elite linebackers.
From Lavar Arrington to Dan Connor and Sean Lee, the Nittany Lions‘ reputation as LBU has been well earned for decades. The exciting part is we might be on the cusp of adding another name to that list, Abdul Carter.
The true freshman LB made a name for himself in 2022.
Carter was named true freshman All American by 0n3, and freshman All America by FWAA. Racking up 56 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss, forcing 2 fumbles and causing 4 QB hurries.
Is Penn State Football LB Abdul Carter the next Micah Parsons?
Wearing the famed No. 11 that Micah Parsons and Arrington made iconic in Happy Valley, Carter and Parsons are both natives of Pennsylvania. Watching Carter play last season, it was easy to compare him to the previous owner of No. 11, and the one currently wearing it for the Dallas Cowboys.
Parsons, as we know, was phenomenal, and is now a super star in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. Looking back at 2018, Parsons racked up 82 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, 5.0 tackles for loss, forced 2 fumbles, and 5 QB hurries. Compare those numbers to Carter’s and they are fairly close in their first years at Penn State.
Carter has all the skills to be an elite LB for Penn State Football. He has speed, size, sure handed tackling, and the ability to get after the QB.
Playing next to veteran Curtis Jacobs in 2022 and again in 2023 will only help his development.
It’s safe to say Penn State Football defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is utilizing Carter in a different way than former DC Brent Pry utilized Parsons.
Carter seems to have more free reign in this defense.
The ability to play fast, and aggressive. Sending Carter on more blitzes, allowing him to use that speed to pressure the QB. Those 6.5 sacks led the Nittany Lions’ defense. Something we only saw Brent Pry allow Parsons to do in that Cotton Bowl win against Memphis, where he took over the game.
Given the different schemes the two linebackers played under while at Penn State, it’s hard to definitively say that Abdul will be the next Parsons.
It would be fun to see Micah Parsons play in this Manny Diaz scheme, and that’s not knocking Brent Pry, but the differences are clear.
Manny likes being aggressive.
Would Parsons have been let loose to pressure the QB more often? What kind of sack numbers could Parsons have had under a Manny Diaz led defense?
All questions we are only left to speculate about, but is Abdul Carter the next Micah Parsons?
In my opinion yes, he is, and if 2022 was any indication of what 2023 will bring. Penn State Football fans have a lot to be excited about for the guy wearing No. 11, again.