Trieu: Michigan sees Belleville ‘freak athlete’ Jamari Buddin as viper

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

One of the nation’s top outside linebackers, Jamari Buddin, is right here inside the state of Michigan at Belleville.

A recent addition to the four-star ranks at 247Sports, Buddin is a fast, aggressive, versatile prospect, and those are all reasons he is a priority recruit for the Michigan Wolverines.

Jamari Buddin

But where most schools are recruiting him for his high school position of linebacker, there is a twist with Michigan and Buddin.

“Michigan is recruiting me as a viper,” Buddin said. "I like it. I think it's a good spot for me with the way my body is developing to really show out at that position."

Buddin is now 210 pounds at 6-foot-2 and running in the 4.5s in the 40-yard dash. He can cover, he can rush off the edge, he can stop the run, the type of varied skill set it takes to play that position at Michigan.

“He’s really good at coming off the edge,” Tigers head coach Jermain Crowell said. “He’s good at bending and turning that corner. He’s a freak athlete. Basketball, track, football … you’re talking about a 200-plus-pound kid that doesn’t play in the secondary, who’s running 4.5. I think he is unique in that aspect. Then he’s ultra-competitive.”

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Penn State and Purdue are two schools Michigan is battling for Buddin.

Minnesota, a school he plans to visit in the spring, is also ramping up its recruitment of him. Buddin also is considering visits or camps at Oregon and Clemson with the possibility of earning an offer from one of those programs.

At this juncture, the Michigan staff is one of the staffs he has the best relationship with, especially after a recent visit where he got to spend more time with them.

"We gave a good relationship,” Buddin said. “We speak every other day, me and Coach Tank (Tenarius Wright), Coach (Don) Brown, and Sherrone Moore mostly. Coach (Brian) Jean-Mary is a cool dude. I talk to Coach Tank more than I talk to him but he's a cool dude and a straight-forward, nice guy."

Buddin is not planning on making a commitment until December.

Four-star defensive end to visit

Hutto (Texas) defensive end Landyn Watson, a four-star junior, reported to 247Sports’ Gabe Brooks that he will visit Michigan on March 21.

That will be an unofficial visit for the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Watson.

Michigan offered him in late January and this will be his first visit to campus.

Defensive line coach Shaun Nua is recruiting Watson for the Wolverines. Texas Tech, Virginia Tech and Arkansas are considered the competition.

More information

Jamari Buddin profile 

Landyn Watson profile 

Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at