247Sports: Michigan football LB among nation’s ‘most ferocious’

Michigan football fans got well acquainted with former Nebraska linebacker Ernest Hausmann last year when he started laying licks on running backs. Though used in a reserve role, it was clear that he was the heir apparent to that being left behind by Junior Colson and Mike Barrett.

But there’s another linebacker that fans aren’t quite as familiar with who should fit in nicely next to Hausmann.

This offseason, the Wolverines managed to secure former Maryland linebacker Jaishawn Barham — who happens to be the last person to have intercepted a J.J. McCarthy pass in college. Though he hasn’t yet played a down for the maize and blue, he’s already getting accolades for his prowess in making the big hit.

247Sports’ Brad Crawford put together a list of the ’10 most ferocious linebackers’ entering 2024, and Barham came in ranked No. 4 in the country.

2023 numbers: 37 tackles (3 TFL)

The Barham file: The top-rated linebacker in the portal this cycle, Jaishawn Barham left Maryland for Michigan and 247Sports’ Clint Brewster called his arrival in Ann Arbor the “perfect fit” for both parties.

“Barham is an impressive looking specimen in the middle of the defense and he was freshman All-American in 2022,” Brewster told The Michigan Insider. “Production dipped a little bit this season but there’s a ton to like about his game. He’s a physical presence in the run game, but also does an excellent job on blitzes. He’s long, fast, and physical. The thing that really stands out for me is how well he moves laterally at that size and how he navigates through traffic. He’s got the arm length and strength to disengage and doesn’t get blocked easily. Michigan is a perfect spot for his talent and they will maximize his game. He’s a candidate to have a huge breakout year.”

The blitz part is big given that new Michigan defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is known to be a heavy blitzer. If utilized as expected, fans will get to know and love Barham in a hurry, especially considering how well he fits into the system.

In 2022, Barham was third on Maryland’s defense in tackles (58) while being first in tackles for loss (6.5) and sacks (4). As noted, his production waned in 2023, but with new life in Ann Arbor, he’s poised for a rebound year. And if 247Sports is right, it could be one that garners him national attention — not just local.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire