The National Football Leagueâ€™s Saint Louis Rams signed wide receiver Saalim Hakim to the teamâ€™s practice squad this week. Hakim is 5-foot-11, 188 pounds, from Tarleton State. He was recently a member of the Dallas Cowboys, signing with them this past spring as an undrafted free agent. Prior to that he spent a year with the Las Vegas Locomotives in the United Football League. He played wide receiver for the first time at Palomar Community College, where he totaled 31 catches in two seasons as a reserve, then transferred to Tarleton State for a season, where he caught 18 passes off the bench. After one season at Tarleton State, Hakim signed with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League, Former New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel is the head coach and general manager of the Locomotives. His son, John Fassel, happens to coach special teams with the Rams.
Fassel gave Hakimâ€™s athleticism a big endorsement, â€œYou donâ€™t find guys like him walking around on the streets,â€ Fassel said. â€œHeâ€™s so strong â€” explosively strong. Heâ€™d jerk a guy, go around him, and once he got into a leverage position they couldnâ€™t run with him. Once he gets going, heâ€™s as fast as anyone Iâ€™ve ever seen on the football field.â€ According to sportswriter Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, the Rams tried to lure Hakim to join the team this spring, but the Cowboys did a better job, with owner Jerry Jones and head coaches Jason Garrett making personal pitches.
Hakim has been clocked as fast as 4.31seconds in the 40-yard dash. Itâ€™s a big reason why 18 NFL teams tried to sign him as a rookie free agent even though heâ€™s never started at any level of football. In fact he didnâ€™t even start playing football until his senior year of high school, preferring soccer as a kid. He is the younger brother of Az-Zahir Hakim, better known as the lightning-fast receiver and kick returner for the St. Louis Ramsâ€™ â€œGreatest Show on Turfâ€ teams. The elder Hakim averaged 18.8 yards per catch for the Ramsâ€™ 2000 Super Bowl-winning team.