Thursday, April 15, 2010

Southern Illinois Karim not a sleeper anymore

Southern Illinois running back Deji Karim came into the NFL Draft process without a lot of fan fare, but he is one of the fast rising players as we lead up to the NFL Draft. He was one of the NFL Draft sleepers when he first arrived in El Paso, TX for the Texas vs. the Nation game, but he is a sleeper no more.

Karim this past season rushed for 1,694 yard and 18 touchdowns averaging 7.1 yards per carry. He also caught 17 passes for 212 yards and 1 touchdown averaging 12.5 per reception. He was invited to play in the Texas vs. the Nation game, but was given an invite to the NFL Combine.

“At first it was a disappointment (not to get invited to the NFL Combine), but I knew I had to do something at my Pro Day to open their (NFL scouts) eyes,” said Karim.

Karim did just that at his Pro Day, where he, out jumped the best running back in Indianapolis by two inches in the vertical jump (43 inches). Karim measured in at 5-8 1/2, 209 pounds and ran the 40 yard dash in 4.40 seconds, the short shuttle in 4.33 seconds, and the three-cone drill in 6.95 seconds. He measured a 10-foot-3 inch broad jump and did 19 reps of 225 pounds.

“I start training down in Florida even before the Texas vs. the Nation game, and it really helped me their and also get everything out of my ability to have a great Pro Day,” said Karim.

After his performance at the Texas vs. the Nation game and his Pro Day, people started to take notice of him and he end up having personal visiting with a number of teams including the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Indianapolis Colts.

But despite all the post season success that Karim is having he knows he can still improve.

“I need to work on my blocking, I have the effort but I need to improve on my technique,” said Karim. “I also need to work on my vision at the second level when I’m running the ball.”

With Karim being one of the fast risers on every teams draft board soon we will all find out what team he goes to.

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