Film study: Notre Dame DE enrollee Khalid Kareem
DE Khalid Kareem, 6-3, 245; Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison.
The numbers: Kareem tallied 17 sacks, 60 tackles, 40 tackles for a loss and six forced fumbles in his senior season at Harrison. The Hawks (7-3) ended their season with a loss in first round of the MHSAA Division 2 playoffs.
The rankings: 247Sports – Four stars, No. 9 strongside defensive end. Rivals – Four stars, No. 17 strongside defensive end.
First impression: Kareem is a relentless defensive end who spends plenty of time disrupting the backfield. He has excelled both in rushing the passer and stuffing the run. Kareem plays with a similar style as Irish defensive end Isaac Rochell.
Strengths: Kareem possesses a quick first step which allows him to beat offensive linemen to the punch. He can clog holes or penetrate and track down the ball. When rushing the quarterback, Kareem shows a high motor. He rarely stops chasing and makes hesitating quarterbacks pay. Kareem is strong enough to fight off offensive linemen with ease. His hand strength is impressive when he pulls down the ball carrier with outstretched arms. Kareem also works well on the interior of the line.
He did what? (:57) Kareem jumps the snap and dives over the line to hit the quarterback. While dragging the quarterback down, he tries to get rid of it and Kareem’s teammate recovers the ball for a touchdown … (1:07) Kareem shows his speed rush by zooming past the offensive tackle and steering clear of the running back. He displays good awareness in stripping the quarterback of the ball because he’s a little too deep to make the sack … (1:31) Kareem beats his lineman with a strong bull rush and shoves him out of the way. A running back appears to try to help block Kareem, but he isn’t fazed. He wraps up the quarterback, who fumbles the ball trying to get rid of it.
Competition level: Kareem played against a number of below .500 teams from the Detroit suburbs. Many of those teams aren’t rich with talent. He recorded three tackles for a loss and a sack fumble against a West Bloomfield team that was undefeated at the time. Groves, the No. 38 team in Michigan according to MaxPreps, defeated Harrison in the playoffs.
Left to prove: Kareem proved to be an excellent pass rusher in high school, but he faced very little resistance from quality offensive linemen. How his speed and strength translate to college football will dictate if he can make the defensive line rotation as a freshman. With his early enrollment, Kareem appears to be a in a good position to make that happen. He will need to develop his pass rush moves in order to do so. His strong hands should give him a good start. Better explosiveness could make Kareem dangerous off the edge. Kareem could grow into a tough defensive tackle, but the Irish likely need him to become one of their premier pass rushers.