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Blue Chip countdown: No. 2 Khalid Kareem

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Khalid Kareem

The Detroit News continues its countdown of the top 15 Blue Chip recruits for 2016 with Khalid Kareem of Farmington Hills Harrison at No. 2.

Khalid Kareem was a quarterback’s nightmare, and he caused running backs a lot of problems, as well.

Kareem, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end, had an outstanding senior season, finishing with 36 tackles for lost yardage, including 16 sacks, to help Farmington Hills Harrison earn an OAA White Division championship and another state playoff appearance.

It didn’t end there. Kareem was invited to compete in the Marine Corps Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, where he was named MVP. He scored on a 14-yard fumble return, then returned another fumble for 78 yards in his team’s win.

“I had a lot of fun my senior year,” said Kareem, who is already enrolled at Notre Dame after decommitting first from Michigan State, then Alabama. “I think I had better technique this past year after getting more coaching and more experience. I think my high football IQ is my strength, along with being able to get off the ball well and watching my opponent’s body pre-snap to get an idea of what they’re going to do.”

Another highlight of Kareem’s senior season was a 17-14 win over Southfield.

“We had a great game against Southfield,” Kareem said. “We had a lot of people stand out in that game. I had a couple of sacks, had a lot of hurries and forced a fumble. It was definitely a memorable game.”

Harrison’s legendary coach John Herrington was impressed with Kareem, saying: “Khalid did a fantastic job for us. He has the ability to read what the offensive linemen are doing and comes off the ball very hard.”

Kareem enjoyed his time in California in early January, playing in the Semper Fidelis game.

“It was great to be the overall MVP of that game, being able to recover a couple of fumbles,” Kareem said. “That game definitely gave me more confidence moving on.”

And that was on to Notre Dame, where Kareem is happy to have a head start on some of the other recruits in the 2016 class.

“I’ve enrolled early to assure that I get a better jump on the competition,” Kareem said. “I want to get acquainted to the playbook, be ready for spring ball so I have a chance to contribute as soon as possible.

“The best thing about Notre Dame is it’s close to home. I get the chance to play for a great football program and the academics are amazing. I feel I’ll also get the chance to make an immediate impact.”

Kareem has found a home at Notre Dame, and it was a long journey getting there. After not having an offer heading into his junior year, Kareem had 18 sacks while leading Harrison to the state semifinals. He entered his senior year with 39 offers, first committing to MSU, then Alabama prior to the season. During the season he decommitted from the eventual national champs and picked the Irish.

DETROIT NEWS BLUE CHIP COUNTDOWN

No. 2 Khalid Kareem, Farmington Hills Harrison (Notre Dame)

No. 3 Lavert Hill, Detroit King (undecided)

No. 4 Daelin Hayes, Ann Arbor Skyline (Notre Dame)

No. 5 Michael Onwenu, Detroit Cass Tech (Michigan)

No. 6 Desmond Fitzpatrick, Waterford Mott (undecided)

No. 7 Demetric Vance, Detroit Cass Tech (Michigan State)

No. 8 Michael Jordan, Plymouth (Ohio State)

No. 9 Cedrick Lattimore, Detroit East English (Iowa)

No. 10 Trishton Jackson, West Bloomfield (Michigan State)

No. 11 David Reese, Farmington (Florida)

No. 12 Brandon Randle, Battle Creek Central (Michigan State)

No. 13 Josh Jackson, Saline (Virginia Tech)

No. 14 Martell Pettaway, Detroit King (West Virginia)

No. 15 Brad Tanner, Romeo (Western Michigan)