The Arizona Wildcats have had success recruiting the Inland Empire in the past. With the wealth of talent in that area, it’s hard not to recruit the IE. It is an area the ‘Cats continue to focus on with multiple prospects receiving offers.
Khalil Shakir, 4-star (3-star on 247Sports) wide receiver from Murrieta, CA, is one of those talented prospects reciprocating Arizona’s interest. The 6-foot-1, 175 pound Vista Murrieta standout is up to double digit offers.
“I’m up to 13,” Shakir stated on how many offers he is up to. “Standing out to me right now are Boise State, Illinois, Arizona State, and Arizona.”
Some of Shakir’s other offers include Colorado, UCLA, BYU, and Washington State. He is also receiving interest from Oregon and Utah.
“I want to bring down my list,” Shakir continued. “I’m probably going to sit down with my dad here in a week and bring my list down to five. But right now I’m just kind of letting (the process) play out.”
However, Shakir already seems to have a couple things in mind when cutting down his list.
“I visited USC a while ago but they haven’t offered me yet. I went there to check things out,” Shakir continued about his visits. “The only serious visits that I’ve been on to schools I’m interested in are Arizona and Arizona State.”
Shakir visited Tucson at the end of March when the Wildcats hosted their final open spring practice. While on that visit, there were multiple aspects of the school that peaked Shakir’s interest in the ‘Cats.
“Their facilities are amazing. It just feels like everything is new and up-to-date,” he explained. “The way the coaches treated me...they treated me like I already go there. That’s a big thing, relationships with coaches. They showed me a lot of love.”
Since the visit, and even before then, the Arizona staff has kept in constant communication with Shakir.
“I talk to Coach (Chris) Singletary and Coach (Brian) Knorr the most,” Shakir stated when asked about his lead recruiters.
“Actually I’ve been talking to them for awhile,” Shakir started on how his offer came about. “I was at school and (Coach Singletary) told me to give him a call and it just happened right there. I was pretty excited when they offered me.”
Shakir also explained that Brian Knorr had visited him twice and wide receivers coach Theron Aych visited once during the Spring Evaluation period. This relationship between Shakir and the staff has grown into great communication between the two parties.
“I talk to Coach Singletary and Coach Knorr like every other day. If not then it’s at least once or twice every week,” Shakir added. “They basically say they like what I do when I have the ball in my hands. They like that I’m an explosive player when I have the ball in my hands.”
Shakir does have a time frame in mind for when he wants to make a decision on his next home and that means more time for the Wildcat staff to make more of an impression.
“Honestly I want to wait halfway through the season,” Shakir stated. “Right before my league games start I’ll probably make a decision.”
To go along with his relationship with the coaches, Shakir has other attributes that he is looking for in a school when he makes his commitment.
“When I step on campus I just want to feel at home. I want to feel I belong there,” he explained. “Location is not really a problem, I’ve traveled a lot. But yeah, I want to feel good vibes when I step on campus. I want to feel like I belong there for the next four to five years.”
This offseason is going to be important for Shakir as he looks to improve his skills on the field and knocking out some visits.
“My route running, getting in and out of my routes, and when I catch the ball breaking out of my routes,” Shakir explained of what he is working on this offseason. “There’s always room for improvement but I believe that my strength is when I catch the ball what I can do with the ball in my hands.”
Saying Shakir is explosive is a little of an understatement. He can line up on the outside, slot, backfield, or special teams and make plays. He is rather elusive while running but can show toughness when he needs to. His initial burst of speed is able to be sustained and he is able to bounce plays outside for positive yardage or more. Because of his size he could be a dangerous slot receiver in the Wildcat offense. He kind of reminds me of freshman Brian Casteel.
Shakir finished his junior campaign with the Broncos with 392 yards on 29 catches and 3 touchdowns. On the ground he had 53 carries for 374 yards and 6 touchdowns.