Wide receiver Saalim Hakim talks about his brother, former NFL wideout Az-Zahir Hakim, and his role in Saints’ history; if other scouts compare him to Az; and how he wound up at Tarleton State:
The Advocate: Does any fans tell you they love Az because he fumbled the punt in 2000 that sealed the Saints’ first-ever playoff win?
Saalim Hakim: They always bring up what he did with the Rams and what he did in the playoffs. The fans have fun with it, but they love my brother … he’s a cool dude.
TA: Do you feel like you have to make your own way in the NFL?
SH: Yeah, but people compare me to him. I’m a little taller and bigger, so they call me “Big Hakim.” I still get a lot of advice from him.
TA: What else do NFL people ask you about him?
SH: They ask me how he’s doing, and then they always, say, “Are you faster than your brother?” I just say, “Look at the 40 times.”
TA: How did you wind up at Tarleton State, a Division II school in Texas?
SH: I went to a JUCO and had some problems with a few classes and couldn’t go D-I. They said I had to go to summer school, but the D-II schools said they would take me.
TA: Did you play two years there?
SH: Only one. I went and played in the UFL with the Las Vegas Locomotives (in 2011).
TA: What does Saalim mean?
SH: It means peace in Arabic.