Four days ago, Keegan Karim spoke with BYU wide receiver coach Guy Holliday, who wants him to come visit the campus. BYU was possibly looking to offer Karim, but generally wants prospects to come on campus first prior to any official offer. However, being that Karim lives in Georgia, that’s a little easier said than done.
“A couple of days ago I was talking to my mom and she was talking to me about BYU,” said Karim. “We really want to get up there but we were talking about how hard it is because we can’t afford it.”
Then two days later Karim received word from his coach that something changed in his recruiting status with BYU.
“Coach Holliday was talking about how they really wanted to offer me a scholarship, but that they wanted me to come up for an unofficial visit first,” said Karim. “It is far away, so it’s a lot of money, so it makes it tough. I was talking with my mom and she said she didn’t want to send me out there unless she knew for sure they were going to offer me, and so two days afterwards I got a text from Coach Browning. He said, ‘Yeah, BYU has offered you.’ I was like, ‘What? They did? I thought they wanted me to come out there first.’ He said, ‘No, they’ve offered you.’ Coach Browning is the one that talks to the coaches and handles all the recruiting stuff out here and talks to all the coaches. He told me that it was confirmed and won’t tell me anything until the schools actually write it down as an offer. I was really excited after that.”
Karim was excited after hearing the news.
“I was honored after I was told that I received the offer,” Karim said. “There was an article on me, and my friends at school who are Mormon told me that they read something about me being recruited by BYU. There’s plenty of Mormons down here where I live and I have friends that are Mormons down here. When I told them that I got my offer they were all like, ‘You need to go! It will be so much fun,’ because they all plan on going there. They were really excited about that and told me that BYU plays big-time schools all around the country. I mean, BYU is a big-time school and, like I said, it was an honor.”
Having friends that are LDS, Karim knows a little about the standards that are adhered to by those of the faith.
“I actually pride myself on being a good person off the field,” Karim said. “I went on an unofficial trip with Wesley Green, who is like the number two cornerback in Georgia, and he was telling me about how he keeps out of trouble. He says he stays inside and keeps out of trouble and plays video games and stuff like that. My mom always tells me to choose my friends wisely and stay away from situations that can lead to trouble and I have.”
Karim had offers from Air Force and Lehigh University prior to his BYU offer. Wide receiver coach Guy Holliday is the one primarily responsible for discovering and recruiting the Georgia native.
Boasting a 3.75 GPA, Karim wants to attend a college known for its high academic standards.
“I want to graduate with honors,” said Karim. “I want to go to a college that’s known for its academics and not just its athletics.”
He likes what he’s heard about BYU when it comes to things other than just football.
“I heard that BYU’s academics are really high and outstanding,” Karim said. “I’ve also heard about BYU’s honor code and how they only look at kids with high character. Coach Holliday gave me an understanding of BYU’s moral code and high standards, which isn’t a problem for me. It’s a place where you don’t do drugs, smoke or drink, and as a student athlete I think you shouldn’t be doing those things anyways.
“I’ve also heard about BYU’s fan base, which I got a taste of after I got offered. I had BYU fans texting me on Twitter and things like that congratulating me. I feel like the environment would be great up there and really want to get up there so I can just feel it and get a better idea. I think it would be a great experience.”
As mentioned earlier, Karim isn’t sure if he can afford a trip to Provo.
“Well, I talked about it with my mom after I got offered,” said Karim. “She was like, ‘I know you really want to get up there and check it out.’ If we could afford it I definitely would, so we’re trying to figure something out and it’s a work in progress. I have to call up Coach Holliday tonight and talk to him about that. We’re trying to figure it all out.”
A 2014 prospect, Karim plays both cornerback and safety for Harrison High School. He’s gained quite the reputation around Kennesaw, Georgia for being a physical lockdown corner.
“Out here there is a lot of talent down here in Georgia,” said Karim. “We’ll have tall, fast receivers that are around 6’4”, and me being a 6’1”, 190-pound cornerback, I can line up against teams’ best receivers. My defensive coach knows that I can man-press and that I love man-press coverage on receivers. I feel like I'm a more physical player and can bump them off the ball.
“My coach will sometimes let me go man coverage on our opponent’s best receivers the whole game. I love shutting down big receivers, especially when they’re putting up big numbers in the county. Some coaches will be saying things like, ‘Oh yeah, we’ve been putting up big numbers and having receivers get over a hundred yards a game. Then we play Harrison High School and there’s nothing but maybe 20 yards. They’ve got a 6’1”, 190-pound cornerback over there that’s been locking down players.’ I'm a physical guy and I’ve always been that way. I pride myself on being physical.”
However, there is more to Karim than just playing cornerback. He also plays offense.
“I play receiver too,” he said. “Actually, at the beginning of my high school career, I mainly just focused playing on offense. As time has progressed I really liked playing on defense and making tackles and stuff like that. I’ve also done my research, because, you know, I want to play at the next level, and the percentages are higher for me playing defensive back than as a receiver. I switched my focus to playing defense, but I’ll still be playing on the offense and making plays. If my coach needs me on offense I’ll play receiver.”
Along with football, Karim also runs on Harrison High School’s track team and competes in the long jump.
“I run track and I'm probably the second-fastest runner on my track team,” said Karim. “I run the 4x1, 100x and sometimes do the 200x. The fastest time I ran the 4x1 was 10.6 and in the 100 I ran an 11.2. I also do the long jump too and I'm the best long jumper on our team. I made it to region down here this past season.”
In the meantime, Karim might be receiving some additional offers in the near future to go with the three that he already has.
Other schools that are recruiting him include, “Cincinnati, Indiana – which came down to look at me – Minnesota, and UConn is looking at me too and might offer soon,” said Karim. “They want my transcripts, so I have to send those to them. BYU had been looking at me pretty heavily over the past month or so. Coach Guy Holliday is the one that’s been recruiting me. They said they don’t really recruit down in the state of Georgia that much, so it was an honor. Now I just have to figure out a way to get out there, so we’ll see how that goes.”