The Jacksonville Jaguars today signed rookie running back Deji Karim, who was the first of the club's two sixth-round picks in the 2010 NFL Draft. Karim was the 180th overall pick and is now the fifth of the team's six draft picks to sign a contract. First-round selection Tyson Alualu is the only remaining draft pick to be signed.
Karim, 5-8, 209, played two seasons at Southern Illinois after transferring from Northeast Oklahoma A&M Junior College. He rushed for 2,080 yards and 26 touchdowns on 316 attempts in 27 games with the Salukis. He finished his career with 10 100-yard rushing games including nine in his final season.
As a senior, Karim helped his team to an 11-2 record and a conference title. He led the FCS in rushing with 1,694 yards and finished with 20 total touchdowns. Of his 18 rushing touchdowns, nine were from 20-plus yards. He was the only player in all of Division I in the past seven seasons to record two touchdown runs of 90-plus yards. He was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year as he ranked third in the nation with 130.3 rushing yards per game. In addition, he set a school record with 2,339 all-purpose yards.
Karim, 24, scored 25 rushing touchdowns in two seasons at junior college. He was a teammate of former Oklahoma quarterback and 2010 first-round pick Sam Bradford at Putnam City North High School in Oklahoma City. He rushed for more than 2,000 yards and scored 28 touchdowns as a senior.
Karim was given six names at birth: Abdul-Gafar Olatokumbo Ayodeji Lamar Karim. His name was shortened to Deji at birth which means "pure happiness." His name is pronounced, DAY-jhee kuh-RIM.