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Khalid Kareem was Unsung Hero in 2018

A lot of guys stood out on a strong 2018 roster for Notre Dame football. When you look at the defense, you can’t help but notice some of the big names.

Drue Tranquill, Jerry Tillery, Te’von Coney, Alohi Gilman, Jalen Elliott — these are guys who absolutely terrorized opponents for Notre Dame football this season.

This has been considered head coach Brian Kelly’s best defensive unit, not just because of these guys, but how strong they have been in all positions in 2018.

Khalid Kareem was one of those players who wase just on the edge of breaking out. Quite frankly, he has put up many notable performances this season, but never really received the credit he is due.

He has almost doubled his numbers in every statistic compared to last season. He went from 20 tackles to 40, 5.5 tackles for a loss to 11, three sacks to 5.5, and two pass deflections to five.

Kareem made an impact in every game this season. While many of his performances stand out, he was the one that got everything going to start out the season. Against Michigan, he dominated with a career-best nine tackles, two sacks and forced a fumble.

Against Virginia Tech, he was the one who turned the game around with his 2.5 tackles for a loss, pass deflection and forced the fumble that resulted in the 42-yard scoop-and-score for Julian Love.

Covering most of his face in eye-black, Kareem has become even more intimidating than the facemasks of Notre Dame’s 2012 defensive line.

He takes the intimidating look and accompanies it with his style of play.

Turning into one of Notre Dame’s top linemen, he plays for keeps and his production hasn’t slowed down. Against Syracuse for example — one of the best offenses Notre Dame was supposed to face this season — he was a big part of holding the Orange to just three points. He logged five tackles and a career-best two pass deflections in that game.

All season long, Kareem came up big during the moments Notre Dame needed him to shine.

Next: Irish in the NFL: Josh Adams has arrived

Khalid Kareem is a huge reason why Notre Dame football is currently 12-0 and awaiting an official College Football Playoff berth. As such, he is the Slap the Sign Unsung Hero of 2018.

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