Nation's leading rusher/Combine-snub wows scouts
Posted on: March 11, 2010 6:43 pm
The focus might have initially been on the Northwestern players at their Pro Day this morning, but the scouts representing an estimated 20 NFL teams instead got a show from the nation's leading rusher, Southern Illinois running back Deji Karim .
Karim rushed for 1,694 yards and 18 touchdowns this season for the Salukis and was noted as a player to watch after a solid showing at the Texas vs. Nation game.
Chad Reuter, who scouted the practices in person noted: Karim, however, looked powerful and quick as a runner and also a threat as a receiver on screens. He runs very low, making him hard to find and bring down.
Still, his production and solid showing at the TvN certainly didn't prepare scouts for the eye-popping workout he put forth Thursday.
Karim measured in at 5-8 3/4 and 209 pounds Thursday. He was timed by scouts in attendance at 4.38 seconds and posted a 43" vertical jump, a 10'3" broad jump and banged out 19 repetitions of 225 pounds.
Karim had been viewed as a late round or priority free agent prospect, but his spectacular results in the workout prove that his game-day prowess is no fluke.
It is also important to note that several Salukis have gone on to enjoy NFL success -- the most recent big name being another running back with a very different style of running than the elusive Karim -- New York Giants' behemoth Brandon Jacobs.
I had referred to the Northwestern Pro Day in an earlier blog posting, but focused more on the Wildcats' players and Western Illinois cornerback Patrick Stoudamire, Jr, who, like Karim, wasn't invited to the Combine despite a sparkling collegiate career.
Stoudamire measured in at 5-10 1/4, 205 pounds. He looked fluid in positional drills and measured out well, turning in a 4.45 second dash in the 40, a 6.67 in the 3-cone, a 3.95 short shuttle and a 9'11 broad jump. Stoudamire also lifted the bar 11 times.