Deion Sanders described some similarities between Dallas Cowboys superstar Micah Parsons and NFL draft prospect James Houston last week on the Rich Eisen radio show.
Micah Parsons was drafted out of Penn State by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. He lined up as an inside linebacker in college but was moved around the defensive line in the NFL. Parsons has dominated in his rookie year racking up 13 sacks, three forced fumbles, and three pass deflections through the first fifteen games. The Cowboys unlocked the best in the rookie by allowing him to play as a pass rusher. Jackson State University linebacker and NFL draft prospect James Houston made a similar shift in Deion Sanders’ program. Houston lined up primarily as an inside linebacker at the University of Florida before transferring to JSU as a graduate student. Like Parsons, Houston has thrived in his role as a pass rusher.
“Parsons is a freak man,” Sanders said. “He is a darn freak man. We have a kid who plays defensive end that was an inside linebacker that we moved to defensive end. He was All-SWAC, All-FCS, James Houston came to us from the University of Florida.”
“The kid balled out this year and has all kinds of accolades but he reminds me of that guy,” Sanders continued. “My whole pitch to him was ‘look, man Parsons was the inside guy now he’s inside and outside and he is everywhere. You could do the same.’ Because he was an inside linebacker for us but he wouldn’t have started there so we moved him to the rush and my god. He broke records and he is phenomenal.”
James Houston is now preparing for the NFL draft in April after having a phenomenal year with the JSU Tigers. He posted 70 tackles, 24.5 tackles for a loss, 16.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and an interception in 13 games. Houston was selected to the 2021 FCS All-American team, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, and the East-West Shrine Bowl. He was also named the HBCU Gameday Defensive Player of the Year.