Four-star defensive end Khalid Kareem didn't waste much time sorting through his options after de-committing from Alabama less than two weeks ago.
Kareem took an official visit to Notre Dame last weekend. He followed that up by giving the Irish a verbal commitment Friday afternoon, pushing the current recruiting haul to 17 pledges in the Class of 2016.
“Thank you to all the colleges that recruited me and the other schools that overlooked me,” Kareem posted on Twitter. “As an early enrollment student/athlete, the combination of great academics and great football is most important to my family & I. I’m 100% committed to further my education and play college football at the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish.”
Alabama originally scored a commitment from Kareem but he backed off that pledge in hopes of finding a fit closer to home. Notre Dame showed off some key points during his official visit.
"The coaches was just letting me know they really like me and felt I would like it there a lot,” Kareem told Scout.com after the trip. “Coach (Brian) VanGorder talked to me about how I could fit in their defense and the style of my play could get me on the field early. Coach (Keith) Gilmore watched film with us. He also broke down my film with me. I got a lot of good feedback. They really feel like I could make an immediate impact.
“Notre Dame is a special place.”
Kareem is Notre Dame’s 17th verbal commitment and third from a projected defensive end, following Julian Okwara and Jamir Jones. Okwara, ranked No. 205 nationally on Scout.com, is the only defensive player in this class rated above Kareem, who checks in at No. 264.
With Kareem on board the Irish likely have seven spots remaining and sit in strong position for another top Michigan prospect in linebacker Daelin Hayes, a former USC commitment who also visited South Bend last weekend.
Brian Kelly visited the Detroit area this week during the Irish bye week.
The Notre Dame head coach’s next stop was Florida, where the Irish are running near the front of the pack for running back Deon McIntosh and defensive back Devin Studstill. If the Irish close out with that foursome, Notre Dame would likely be halfway finished with its available spots.