There are plenty of options and they are good, but just to be clear, none are going to be Carey next season. That's not a knock on any of the backs on the roster, because there are some good ones. Instead, it is the realization that Carey is the best offensive player in school history and it really may not be close.
Taking a look at the players returning, there are three legitimate options to get carries next season. Jared Baker will be a junior and the only back on the roster that has gotten any kind of real carries. He has proven game speed, but it is unknown how he would handle a substantial amount of carries.
The real problem with baker is his health, as he is recovering from a torn ACL and is going to miss the spring. That means that the other backs that will be on campus are going to have a leg up on him and Baker is likely going to have to be pretty impressive for him to come back and be able to steal carries away from the players that participate in spring.
Pierre Cormier is the back that many fans believe will be the guy to step up and become the top back. It's not an unwarranted option, as he has a ton of talent. Cormier is fantastic in the open field and a player that Arizona aggressively recruited because it felt he fits in perfectly with what the coaching staff wants to do.
It remains to be seen if Cormier is the type of guy that can handle 20 carries per game and that is certainly one of the biggest questions surrounding him, but the talent is there.
Zachary Green is the polar opposite of Cormier, but that is not a bad thing. He is a power back and while that usually makes people think of a slow, but strong back, that is not the case here. Green has decent speed and he is in a position to surprise some.
Green may not be the style of back that Rodriguez is accustomed to playing, but he should be able to offer a nice change of pace at the absolute least. Putting him in a back field with Cormier gives Arizona a dangerous one-two punch with differing styles that opponents would have to account for.
Also participating in the spring will be freshman Jonathan Haden, who is pretty similar to Cormier in size and running style. Haden may be the underdog in this race, but Arizona took him for a reason and he put up solid numbers against good competition.
We don't know a lot about Haden because he has not participated in any college practices, but it would not be a surprise to see him emerge as a player that is going to challenge for carries.
If you wanted a running back on next year's roster that most closely resembles Carey, it is freshman Nick Wilson. The plan is for Wilson to sign with Arizona and although he is not going to be in Tucson in the spring, he is close to physically ready to compete right away at the next level.
Take a look at his Scout.com evaluation and think about who this reminds you of: "Wilson is a powerful back who can run between the tackles but has breakaway speed as well. He's decisive and doesn't try and dance around too much in the backfield but picks a hole and goes.
"He can catch the ball out of the backfield, understands how to finish off a run and is always falling forward at the end of each carry. He's a tough back and doesn't shy away from contact and is the kind of runner who seems to get stronger as the game goes on."
No matter who wins the job, he is going to do so because it is deserved and he is capable of making an impact.
There may not be a Carey on the roster, but Rodriguez has recruited well enough to make sure that there is talent there to work on replacing him.