Oklahoma RB has Wildcats High on his list
Oklahoma RB has Wildcats on his list
The Next Sproles for the Cats?
by Sean Kelly
At 5'10 and roughly 185 pounds, the comparison to current Kansas State running back Darren Sproles is something Putnam City North's Star running Back Deji Karim hears on a daily basis: "Oh yea I hear that a lot. People tell me all the time that Darren and I are alike. I have seen him play on TV and he is a good running back, I like those comparisons."
Asked about his running style and who he patterns some of his game after, Deji- (pronounced Day-G) said:"I used to watch Deion Sanders but he is retired and now I kind of watch a lot of Marshall Faulk and LaDainian Tomlinson. I like some of the smaller backs in the NFL, they can make you miss and go around you."
So how good is this Oklahoma City recruit? Well, this is a running back that recorded 1,254 yards (7.25 per carry) and 20 touchdowns rushing as a junior and was the sixth leading rusher in Class 6A in Oklahoma. This is a RB that has schools from all over the Big 12 and the country taking notice, including the Cats: "Yea I can see myself playing for Kansas State, a lot of people tell me that and I like them. I could see myself up there."
Most of the programs recruiting Karim are recruiting him to play RB. That may not be his only position at the collegiate level however as Deji showed up at the MSL camp in Dallas roughly a month ago and lined up at corner at the MSL -OSU camp: "Yea, I played a little corner and I think I got everyone's attention then. I was not really ready to shift over. I came in as a RB and then shifted over to CB there and could have played a lot better. I did not have the complete performance at the camp I really wanted to have. I played really well at the camp and was able to shut the receivers down. I played good -just not as good as I can play. To be honest, I will play anywhere. Wherever they want me is where I will play, offense-defense- it doesn't really matter to me."
" I can see myself playing for Kansas State, you look at their offense and they like to run the ball. I want to be in an offense that runs the ball like they do. Sproles, I like him as a player and a lot of people tell me they can see me playing for them. I can see myself there. They are a really good team and always ranked.
In terms of recruiting, Deji's top schools right now (in order given) Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas ATM. " I would say those are my tops team right now but I am open." Coach Pederson is recruiting Deji for the Cats and I asked Deji if he plans on visiting Manhattan and his thoughts on the Wildcat program:"I like Kansas State. I would really like to go down there and check them out and see the school and the coaches."
I talking with this recruit a little more, it is apparent he has given a good deal of thought into what he is looking for in a school: "Whenever the time is right and I know where I want to go. that's it. If the time is right and the school is right- I will commit. I want someplace that I feel comfortable. I mean, if I know I can fit in and come in and help the program, then that is what makes me feel comfortable. When I know I can go there and fit in."
I would not however count on this recruit committing early. The Cats and Iowa State seem to be two schools that Deji mentioned often in this interview and he looks to take all of his visits before making a decision:" Yea all five visits. I want to take all my visits so I can compare. I mean I cannot just say this is the place for me without looking at the other schools and seeing how I fit in there."
As for playing time, this recruit is not afraid to step right in and play:" I will play wherever they need me and if I can come in and play I will." That said Karim would rather come in and take a bit of time to learn the offense and his role:" I will probably red-shirt. Because if they want me to come in and play early I can do that but I would like to red-shirt. I would like to have some time to learn the offense."
In looking ahead to the college game and with school out, do not expect this recruit to enjoy his summer:" Nope, they do not mess around. College is different and I want to spend my summer getting bigger and working on getting faster. I am going to be spending a lot of time in the weight room trying to work on getting bigger but not losing any speed."
One thing about some of the recruits from this area, they know one another and they talk. I asked Deji who the toughest opponent he has played against this year:" Santa Fe's Reggie. Reg for sure. Man, for some reason there is no way you can avoid him. It seems like whenever we play him, I don't know. We threw something like 8 picks to him in the past two years. We made his career. He and I talk a lot.
Whenever I hit a camp his is there and we talk. I am not sure where he wants to go but I know he has Kansas State up there too."
The Cats continue to send Karim mail and I think it safe to say this recruit will visit Manhattan if the opportunity arises. Coach Pederson is recruiting Deji for the Cats.
We will be checking back with Deji as recruiting continues to heat up and he has a chance to take visits. As a side note, I had a chance to speak with his High School coach Bob Wilson and he raved about Deji- both on and off the football field. Coach Wilson had nothing but good things to say about his star player and you see why the first time you speak to him.
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