Harrison's Kareem blowing up in recruiting game, keeping focus on Hawks' playoff runFootball  |
Farmington Hills – Khalid Kareem knew they were coming, but what he didn’t know was how fast they would come.
Kareem received his first scholarship offer on October 16 from Bowling Green and two days later, he received his second offer from Northwestern.
And ever since then, the offers have been pouring in for the Farmington Hills Harrison junior defensive end.
“I expected it, but I didn’t know they were going to come in like that,” said Kareem. “I was getting two offers per day for a week straight, so I expected it, but not in that rapid pace.”
After receiving his offers from Bowling Green and Northwestern in mid-October, Kareem started to see the offers pour in by the day, receiving nine offers in a span of four days, starting on November 2nd.
Kareem currently holds offers from California, Duke, Iowa, Louisville, Miami (FL), Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest to go along with his first two offers.
Kareem has been one of the fastest rising prospects in the state of Michigan this year has registered 17 sacks on the year along with close to 80 tackles and leads one of the best defenses in the state.
Through 11 contests this year, the Hawks have held opponents to an average of just over 13 points per game, and in the first two playoff games, limited Fenton to just 10 points and Walled Lake Western to nine points, two offenses that averaged over 35 points per game during the regular season.
Kareem said that he feels his speed and technique helps him on the field, but added that being the son of a coach and the time he’s spent around football is something that has aided him over the years.
“I used my speed and in my techniques, I use my hands a lot,” he said. “And another thing that helps me is that I’m a coach’s son, so I’ve been around football for a lot of years and I’ve been playing since I was seven and just having that experience out there helps a lot.”
Last season, Kareem had a breakout year as one of the top defensive linemen in Oakland County as he recorded more than 10 sacks as a sophomore with West Bloomfield.
Longtime Harrison coach John Herrington said that what separates Kareem from a lot of other defensive ends is his size and athleticism and also added that the junior defensive end did a great job of adjusting to a new defense this fall.
“He’s got the stature for it,” he said. “He’s 6-foot-4, 245 pounds and he’s going to get a lot bigger. He’s got good athletic skills and quickness and he’s very, very coachable. He went from a defense that was mostly an upfield defense to a reading defense, and he’s been able to do that.”
But even with all of the interest and offers rolling in, Kareem’s focus remains on Harrison’s playoff run as the Hawks play host to Flushing on Saturday afternoon in the regional final.
“I enjoy them when I get them,” he said. “But my main focus is with my team trying to win a state championship.”
Herrington said that through all of the recruitment of Kareem, he’s seen him continue to stay focused on the task at hand, helping the Hawks continue through their playoff push.
“He seems to be very humble, he never mentions too much about it,” he said. “But when one school offers you, suddenly other schools start looking at you and offer you and he got an offer from Miami (FL) and that’s pretty awesome and Northwestern and Boston College and so on, but it hasn’t affected him as far as a big head or anything, he just keeps playing hard for us.”
Harrison’s two playoff wins this fall have been polar opposites, a blowout win over Fenton (42-10) and a narrow overtime win over Walled Lake Western (10-9) and the Hawks expect another tight contest with Flushing on Saturday.
Flushing enters the regional final with a 9-2 record behind an offense averaging over 30 points per game and poses another challenge for Kareem and the Harrison defense.
“We prepare for every team the same,” Kareem said. “We come out and practice hard every day and we don’t take any opponent lightly.”