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Parsons still may return kickoffs

We haven’t seen it yet, but there’s still a good chance standout linebacker Micah Parsons could return kickoffs at some point this season for Penn State.

The topic came up during the preseason, with Parsons saying he loved the idea and special teams coordinator Joe Lorig saying it was a possibility.

Parsons returned kickoffs in high school and said he even scored a couple of touchdowns.

Lorig spoke with the media on Thursday and said he would “love for (Parsons) to get an opportunity”

“He’s a very viable returner,” Lorig said. “Actually, Coach (James) Franklin and I both talked this week about possibly making him the primary returner. He doesn’t even know that yet.”

The coaches believe Parsons would be a good return man, and he said he’s not at all worried about potential injury bringing back kicks or even blocking.

“Nah. It’s really God’s plan,” Parsons said before the season. “I’m not really a person that really believes in a bunch of injuries. Thank God — knock on wood — I’ve been a person that’s stayed healthy my whole career, no significant injuries. But I believe in just having fun and play like you know how, and I believe that you’ll be as safe as ever.”

Lorig said Thursday said the idea is “still up for discussion.”

“We want the ball in his hands, and I want a kickoff team when they look back there to see KJ (Hamler) on one side, Journey Brown, Noah Cain, Micah Parsons, whoever it is on the other side, and that creates a real dilemma,” Lorig said.

“Those kickoff guys are going to lose some sleep if they don’t have a guy like Jordan Stout who can put it out the back of the end zone.”

Speaking of Stout

Lorig spoke very highly of Stout, the transfer kicker from Virginia Tech who has boomed kickoff after kickoff into the end zone and drilled two 50-plus yard field goals, including a school-record 57-yarder.

“He’s a great kid,” Lorig said. “The players love him, the coaches love him and again, he’s just made our whole program a lot better. I’m really proud of him.”

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