Fargo Shanley receiver Vuciri Hakim commits to North Dakota
Hakim finished with 48 receptions for a team-leading 802 yards and nine touchdowns in the Deacons' run to the 2A state championship
FARGO — Fargo Shanley wide receiver Vuciri Hakim has announced his commitment to play Division I football at the University of North Dakota.
Hakim finished with 48 receptions, nine for touchdowns, and a team-leading 802 receiving yards in the Deacons' run to the 2A state championship last fall.
The All-State second team selection announced his commitment to the Fighting Hawks on social media Monday.
"(UND) were kind of the first Division I school to reach out to me," Hakim said. "And we just built a really good rapport with each other — a good relationship. Talking constantly, any questions I'd shoot with them, they'd respond.
"It just really felt like home up there and I feel like it'll be a really good transition from high school ball to their ball."
Hakim's numbers were eye-popping considering his two-year hiatus from football before rejoining the Deacons for his senior year in 2022. Statistically, he was the second-best receiver in the Eastern Dakota Conference with an average of 66.8 yards per game and 16.7 yards per catch.
Although basketball was his primary sport at one point in time, Hakim will now take his talents to the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Fighting Hawks, led by ninth-year head coach Bubba Schweigert, are coming off of a 7-5 campaign in which they earned a berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs before falling to Weber State in the first round.
Hakim said it was a combination of factors that led to his decision to commit to UND, from the campus itself to academic offerings. But it was the culture of the football program that stood out the most.
"I feel like the culture and the football program they have there is really just suitable for what I'm used to," Hakim said. "I just had a really good relationship with the coaches and some of the first-year players up there — I know them as well. They really helped with my decision — shooting them questions and just kind of picking their brains. So really, it was the coaching staff and the culture of the football program."
Hakim said his recruiting process really took off in October. He received offers from UND, North Dakota State and Minnesota State Moorhead.
"I wanted to say I knew right away," Hakim said of his commitment to the Fighting Hawks. "But I wanted to talk to my parents and the coaches to see what would be the right course of action, and then I officially decided (Sunday) and made the announcement (Monday)."
Hakim helped the Deacons to a 10-2 season in 2022 en route to Shanley's 17th overall state title and first in the state's highest division of football since 1983. The Deacons toppled Bismarck Century 48-7 at Dakota Bowl XXX last November.
Hakim said he was happy to be a part of the state title run after sitting out his junior season in favor of hoops. Now, his hard work has led to a Division I offer.
"It honestly feels really good," Hakim said. "The hard work with my teammates in the summer with (working on) routes and hanging out with them and getting to know them and building that chemistry before the season really paid off on the field and off the field. Those are just great memories I'll never forget."
Although basketball was his main sport and he still plays on the varsity squad for Shanley, Hakim said he hasn't received any hoops offers. After announcing his football commitment, he's perfectly OK with that.
"I'm happy with the football offer," Hakim said. "The whole football season really just made me fall deeper into love with it and I'm really glad with where I'm at right now."