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Thursday Recruiting Roundup: Race heating up for four-star in-state linebacker

Michigan is gonna pick up the phone and start dialing on Sunday when the dead period is over.

Ohio State v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The dead period is almost over, folks! Once the calendar turns to March, coaches all around the country are able to reach back out to recruits in the 2021 class via text, call, Skype, whatever the case may be. It just cannot be face-to-face contact, unless the recruit is visiting campus.

This upcoming timeline on the recruiting calendar is called the quiet period (which you can learn more about here).

Like I said on this week’s Future Brew podcast, if I were on Michigan’s coaching staff, I would go full blown Jordan Belfort and pick up the phone and start dialing up to Donovan Edwards as soon as the clock hits midnight on Sunday.

On today’s roundup, we will talk about a few guys in the 2021 class outside of Edwards who will likely receive a phone call from coaches when the dead period is lifted.

U-M, PSU in heated race for in-state LB

One of the many highly-touted in-state prospects in the 2021 class is Belleville four-star linebacker Jamari Buddin. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder is on the radars of schools throughout the country, as he has offers from Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota, Florida State, Ole Miss and more.

247Sports’ Allen Trieu ($) recently caught up with Buddin to get an update on his recruitment, which includes a recent visit Penn State.

“When I went up to Penn State, I got to know everything,” he said. “What I wanted to study, the new coaching staff, everything. I needed that.”

Meanwhile, on the Wolverine side of things, Buddin said Don Brown and company are recruiting him to play VIPER — a position he admitted is a “good spot” for him.

“(The coaches and I) speak every other day — me and coach Tank, coach Brown, and Sherrone Moore mostly,” Buddin said. “Coach 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.”

At this point, this seems like Michigan’s to lose. Buddin has developed strong relationships with multiple coaches and doesn’t live too far from the school. If the Wolverines are serious about getting him on board, they’d keep recruiting him hard up until the early signing period in December, which is when he plans on making his commitment.

West Coast ATH wants to OV U-M

The Wolverines have had good success attracting players on the West Coast to travel cross country and play in Ann Arbor, and they are looking into a few options out west in 2021.

One of those prospects is three-star athlete Devin Kirkwood, who recently got a major bump in the rankings on 247Sports. He spoke with 247Sports’ Greg Biggins ($) after the rankings bump to get an update on his recruitment.

Kirkwood received his offer from Michigan back in December, and although he doesn’t have a strong connection to the university, someone he works closely with does.

“Yeah (Michigan) hit(s) me up every day, too,” Kirkwood said. “My trainer actually played baseball there so when I visit, he’s going to come out with me. He loves Michigan and is always talking them up. They have a great school with great tradition so I’m excited to see them up close.”

When that visit he alluded to exactly happens is still up in the air, but it will be an official one, he said. He also plans on officially visiting Notre Dame and unofficially visiting Arizona and Arizona State. He has already been to Notre Dame once, so if his official goes well there, the Fighting Irish could be the team to beat.

It is a mystery where he would play at if he picked Michigan, but he plays both defensive back and wide receiver for his high school. At 6-foot-3, and especially after taking a bunch of versatile defensive backs in the 2020 class, I’d venture to guess he is being recruited to play receiver at Michigan, but that could obviously change any moment.

Four-star DE visiting U-M in March

Unlike the West Coast, a place Michigan has not recruited well in recent history is the state of Texas. With the addition of Brian Jean-Mary to the coaching staff, the Wolverines are hoping to fix that.

A guy from Texas in 2021 who has shown early interest in Michigan is four-star defensive end Landyn Watson, who has scheduled an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor on March 21, he told 247Sports’ Gabe Brooks ($). He also intends to unofficially visit Texas Tech March 7, and Arkansas April 25.

“I like Texas Tech because they show so much love. I like Arkansas because I have an offer to play tight end or defense there. And Michigan is just very prestigious and their defense is good every year,” Watson said.

Watson was originally committed to play for LSU, but de-committed back in November. The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder from Hutto, Texas holds other offers from Washington, Penn State, Virginia Tech, TCU, Tennessee, Notre Dame and more.

This recruitment seems to be in the early stages for Michigan. Once he visits in a few weeks, we should have a better grasp at where Michigan stands in his recruitment. We will certainly see if this one begins to takeoff.

That’s all for this week! We will be back on Tuesday for another roundup of recruiting news.