However, their conversations with Rutgers director of recruiting E.J. Barthel leading up to their visit, made Rutgers more of a sight to see than an afterthought.
By the time the Kareems left campus Wednesday, Rutgers — which extended an offer during the visit — had become a legitimate contender for the 6-4, 250-pound defensive end from Harrison (Farmington, Mich.), holding upwards of 40 offers.
“We actually didn’t know what to expect from Rutgers because they were new to the Big Ten and we didn’t even know what they were gonna do in the Big Ten. So we didn’t know what to expect going in,” said Ken Kareem, father of Khalid. “We were impressed with the academic side. We had looked at their roster a little bit, just to see who they had, who were seniors, who’s coming back, who’s leaving, that kind of thing. You know, who were the freshmen, what ends did they have.
“They only had one guy who was a true defensive end on their roster, so you know, that was kind of intriguing to us. So we just decided let’s go over and take a look and see what they got. And when we got over there, we were pleasantly surprised about the staff, the historic nature of the program, the facilities, the fact that they’re going through renovations coming up here soon, their raising some money to make the facilities even more attractive to recruits. There were a number of things that had us really, like I said, pleasantly surprised about our trip to Rutgers. I’d say they are a real contender, now.”