Penn State has recruited exceptionally well lately at linebacker, with the last few classes including standouts such as Ellis Brooks, Jesse Luketa, Brandon Smith, Lance Dixon and, of course, the departed Micah Parsons.
The 2021 class features Jamari Buddin, who SI All-American considers one of the nation's top outside linebackers, Further, SI All-American named Buddin one of the "best defensive fits" in the 2021 class.
One major reason: Buddin continues Penn State's run of position-building with athletic linebackers. SI All-American compared the 6-2 Buddin, who is from Belleville, Mich., to former Penn State linebacker Jason Cabinda.
Here's his full evaluation.
Penn State has developed perhaps the most athletic linebacker room in college football over recent years and Buddin brings some of that head-turning versatility to the table in that light. He is a stand-up edge presence more times than not on Friday nights in Michigan and displays true pass-rushing traits off the edge. But his frame suggests he's more likely to play an off-ball linebacker role in Happy Valley, where his striking ability, flexibility and balance through contact fit into a three-down projection.
Buddin displays comfort taking on blocks and scraping to ball to the point it suggests the greatest value in the projection could come as an inside linebacker in the Big Ten. PSU defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Pry has developed similar projections at the prep level and Buddin could be likened to Jason Cabinda.
Get the latest Penn State news by joining the community. Click "Follow" at the top right of our AllPennState page. Mobile users click the notification bell. And please follow AllPennState on Twitter @MarkWogenrich.