"I worked hard this summer," Carey said. "I wanted to play more, and I came in and tried to make a positive impression on the new coaching staff and the best way to do that was to lead by example.
"When I finished the season last year, I wanted to put on solid muscle and work on my agility."
Despite having somewhat limited playing time his freshman season, Carey went into this season with high expectations.
"I thought things would probably go pretty well this year, but I didn't have any specific plans," Carey said. "I don't really think about being better or worse than any other players.
"I go into each game thinking I'm just another player and I need to leave everything on the field because the guys we play against are working hard as well."
Carey believes he can still improve and enjoys watching other backs from around the conference in order to get better.
"You can learn a lot about watching other players who play your position," Carey said. "In the Pac-12 we have so many great running backs that can do so many things. You watch Kenjon Barner at Oregon and you see how fast he is. He finds the whole and sprints through it.
"Then you see Franklin at UCLA, who isn't the biggest guy in the world but runs with a ton of power. Whenever we play those kinds of teams, I always try to pick up the strengths of their game."
As Carey puts up record numbers and keeps improving, he also figures to be on a number of preseason awards lists next year. However, he isn't thinking about next season.
"We still got one more game to go, man" Carey said. "All that stuff is pretty cool, but we're all here to win and improve the program and a win in our bowl game would do that."