Karim Excited To Be a Jaguar

The latest Jacksonville Jaguar to sign is former Southern Illinois standout running back Deji Karim. Find out the role that the Jaguars envision for Deji as a rookie and what his goals are.

Former Southern Illinois running back Deji Karim became the latest Jaguars rookie to sign a contract as he and the Jaguars came to terms on a four-year deal worth approximately $1.9 million. Karim appeared on CB Sports Radio and he could barely contain his excitement.

"I'm really excited and glad we got the deal done," Karim said. "Now we can move on and get to the next phase of things."

The next phase for Karim is of course training camp, as the players will report on Thursday. Deji is looking forward to the next challenge.

"I'm just going to work hard and do whatever the coaches ask of me," the former Saluki said.

I asked Deji about the role that the team envisioned for him and he responded.

"Right now they said that I will be focusing on special teams."

When asked specifically what parts of special teams, Deji said "I will work returning both kickoffs and punts, and covering kicks as a gunner."

Deji will have some stiff competition as a gunner as the Jaguars currently boast not one but two of the NFL's best special teams men in Kassim Osgood and Montell Owens.

I asked Deji if he had picked anything up from working with the Jaguars special teams standouts in mini-camps and OTA's.

"Kassim (Osgood) told me that I have to constantly work and be relentless to be a good special teams player."

Aside from trying to make his mark on special teams, Karim will have some opportunities on offense as he will be vying for the backup running back job behind Maurice Jones-Drew, a player who has a similar physical makeup. Deji has great burst and explosion, like Jones-Drew, and he has a great pair of hands. In mini-camps, Karim reminded many of what the Jaguars fantasy stud looked like as a rookie as he sports the same dreads and is a short, but not small frame.

"I'd like to get some opportunities at running back, but I'm going to be happy playing anywhere they tell me," Deji stated.

I quizzed the young running back on what the most difficult part of his professional experience has been thus far, and he gave an interesting response.

"The playbook. They implement new plays about an hour before practice and actually run those plays during the practice. I'm just doing my best to study the playbook and try to be prepared for Friday."

Deji Karim may be another late-round gem for the Jaguars as he seems to have all the physical tools to be successful, and the work-ethic that should take him a long way. If Jaguars fans are half as excited to have Deji on the team as he is to be a member of the organization, this will be a long-lasting happy marriage.

"I just signed a four-year deal with the Jags," Karim tweeted. "God is good. But it's just the beginning and I've got a lot of work to do."

You can follow Deji Karim on twitter @KingKarim35.

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