“It definitely was one of the better visits,” Kareem’s father Ken said. “We had an opportunity to pretty much be with Harbaugh the whole time.”
“When we got there (Chris) Partridge gave us a quick little tour and was probably really surprised at some of the stuff that we hadn’t seen. So when we got there, he made sure that he showed us pretty much all the little things. “
“(Tyrone) Wheatley really came through, he set everything up for us. He really had the whole agenda planned. It was really Khalid and that O-lineman, Ben Bredeson from Wisconsin. They pretty much laid it out for us. We had a good time. We had an opportunity to meet with academics. We got an opportunity to meet with one of the professors at the business school. Other than that, we just had a really good opportunity to hang out with the staff and we walked around Ann Arbor a little some of the restaurants and some of the shops. Everybody was hollering out ‘Go Blue!’ It was a good time. People were riding by in their cars and you could see them with their camera phones out taking pictures of Harbaugh. We were literally just walking up the block and hanging out at some of the shops that surround the school.”
The younger Kareem is a man of fewer words than his than his father, but he came away equally impressed.
“I like we got a chance to see how Ann Arbor is instead of just the football,” Khalid said. “I got a chance to see the academics, the shops, and all the restaurants around the town.”
“They are great people. They’re real every time I go up there and straight to the people. They’re good people overall.”
The personal interactions with seemingly with every coach proved to be impactful. Michigan’s coaching staff definitely isn’t the only one with whom the Kareems have forged bonds with, but the bonds they have with the Wolverines are clearly some of the strongest.
“The guys at Michigan are great men,” Mr. Kareem stated. “I’ve had an opportunity to build relationships with a lot of those guys and kind of feel them out. Me and Mattison kind of been talking two years now and we’ve talked to him probably once a week maybe. We’ve had an opportunity to meet his wife a couple of times and every time she sees me, she remembers me and knows who I am. I like Durkin. I liked Singletary a lot, but I know he is no longer there. Wheatley and I have built a relationship where we have been able to talk off the record. A lot of our conversations have been (him giving) advice on things to look for, things not to worry about, and (things) to make sure we worry about. He’s gone through it with his son and obviously he went through it himself. “Wheatley and I have talked and not even so much as coaches, almost as brothers. I don’t know if Wheatley is older than me, he’s probably right around the same generation, but we talk as brothers. We really talk and some of the conversations we’ve had are straight to the point. Wheatley is probably one of my favorite guys there, but I like Durkin a lot. I’ve gotten to know him since he’s been there. Plus we found out (last Thursday) that Khalid was (Harbaugh’s) first offer after being hired as a coach. Khalid was what he likes to call, his first order of business. We talked about feel like he is one of their top guys that was kind of proof.”
“I like Harbaugh,” he later added. “I’m not just saying that. Every time we’ve come up here… and I know a lot of it has to do with recruiting, but any time we come up there, it’s always love. I remember one time we were up there for a practice and they put everybody off the practice field except for Khalid and his brother John (Harbaugh). He’s always shown us a ton of love. I’m not saying that these other coaches haven’t either, but we just speaking on Harbaugh right now. I could probably say a lot of the same with Dantonio in terms of in-state. Dantonio has always been real with us from the start. I really like Harbaugh and I’m not just saying that. I’ve never played with him or against him, but I think he’s a player’s coach. He has got one of those personalities. It is just hard not to like him as far as I have seen. It has been said that one of the reasons why he left different places was because of his personality. For me personally, I liked him. That might just be because of the recruiting but I can’t really find anything bad to say about him right now. He showed us a ton of pictures, ton of love. He’s coming from the NFL. He’s down to earth. When we are up there, he’s always offering you something, a water, hey you want something to drink. He’s one of those types of guys, always wants to make sure that you’re good and that’s my impression of him.”
In the final analysis one of the biggest takeaways for both father and son was the removal of all doubt about how wanted the talented youngster is in Ann Arbor.
“Being there and having an opportunity to talk to Durkin and Harbaugh and Mattison, we really felt like he was definitely one of the top guys for sure. We really felt that. I don’t know how many other players they make feel like that, but they definitely made us feel like he is definitely one of their top priorities as far as the BUCK position that they are recruiting him for. They really did. That’s just the real. They really made us feel important (and) welcomed. I think they went out of their way. I don’t know how many recruits they would do that for, but they really pulled it out and it felt good. We like Michigan a lot.”
Considering Kareem is in the process of narrowing down his list, that’s likely music to the ears of the coaches in Ann Arbor.
“They’re probably going to make (the cut),” Kareem said. “Right now I’m just weighing my options.”
Dad was a little more forthright.
“(Michigan is) definitely in the top three right now,” he said.