The book on: Ka'Deem Carey

With Ka'Deem Carey stepping into the lineup, Arizona surged from 114th in the nation in rushing to 15th in 2012. In two seasons, Carey posted the best and second-best rushing figures in school history.

Ka'Deem Carey

University of Arizona Wildcats
Tucson, Arizona
Canyon del Oro High School


A naturally gifted ball carrier, Carey concluded his second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season during his junior campaign, something only three other players have done in school history (Trung Canidate, 1998-90; Art Luppino, 1954-55; and Jim Upchurch, 1973-74). As a sophomore, he became the first running back to post a 1,000-yard season under head coach Rich Rodriguez since Steve Slaton did so at West Virginia in 2007.

The coach produced 11 1,000-yard ball carriers during his career, so it was only natural that Rodriguez would rely heavily on Carey's legs to help this once struggling team record back-to-back 8-5 seasons while the tailback was establishing school records and moving up the Pac-12 Conference Top 10 lists.

In his first season with the Wildcats, Carey was relegated to mostly kickoff return duties, as Mike Stoops did not show any confidence in his younger players. As the team struggled through a 4-8 season that would see the coach dismissed, Carey was hoping that the new staff would utilize the running game more. The coaches not only utilized it, they embraced it.

Arizona ranked 114th among the 120 major colleges with an average of 94.5 yards per game rushing during Carey's first season at the university. With Rich Rodriguez taking over, he unleashed his sophomore running back on Pac-12 Conference defenses and Carey did not disappoint. He led the nation in rushing with 1,929 yards, a school record and fifth-best season in league annals. The Wildcats improved to 15th in the nation with an average of 227.27 yards per game on the ground in 2012.

While Carey was forced to sit out the 2013 season opener vs. Northern Arizona due to an off-field issue, he returned with a vengeance, torching the opposition for 1,885 yards, the second-best season total by a Wildcat and a figure that placed seventh on the Pac-12 annual chart. Arizona improved further, finishing 11th nationally with 264.9 yards rushing per game. Their junior ball carrier also placed third in the nation rushing and fourth in the Football Bowl Subdivision ranks with an average of 171.5 all-purpose yards per game.

Carey was a "natural fit" for Arizona, as the local product made sure the university knew that, when he signed his national letter-of-intent to become a Wildcat even before his senior season commenced at Tucson's Canyon del Oro High School. accorded him a three-star rating and ranked him 55th nationally at the running back position.

During his prep freshman season, Carey only carried the ball 24 times, but turned six of those attempts into touchdowns while averaging 12.96 yards per try. Two of his four kick-offs were also returned for scores, gaining 266 yards in the process. The Dorados put together an 11-2 record during Pat Nugent's final season as their coach, with Carey helping the squad rank tenth in the state, toting the ball 93 times for 898 yards (9.66 ypc) and seven scores in 2008. As a defensive back, he intercepted two passes and posted 25 tackles that included a sack.

With Dustin Peace taking over as Canyon del Oro's head coach in 2009, his first act was to elevate Carey to full-time tailback duties. The team went undefeated (14-0) as the junior runner generated 2,738 yards with 43 touchdowns on 224 attempts (12.22 ypc). He had 3,149 all-purpose yards, as he continued to play on both sides of the ball, picking off three passes while delivering 22 tackles. He received All-State and All-Region honors, as the Sonoran Section Player of the Year helped the team capture the state Division 4A-1 title.

Carey was a member of the Prep Star Dream Team, Tacoma News-Tribune Western 100, Arizona Republic All-Arizona and Class 4A All-State, Arizona Daily Star All-Southern Arizona and Arizona Football Coaches' Association All-State teams. He did not put up the gaudy numbers he produced as a junior, but he did carry 198 times for 1,754 yards (8.86 ypc) and 26 touchdowns in 2010.

Carey also posted 2,143 all-purpose yards, averaging 18.83 yards as a punt returner and 35.0 yards as a kickoff returner during his final campaign. For his career, he rushed 539 times for 5,701 yards (10.58 ypc) and 82 touchdowns, adding 167 yards on 14 catches. He recorded 6,992 all-purpose yards and scored 524 points. He came up with

971 yards on 27 kickoff returns (35.96 avg), and an 18.86-yard average as a punt returner, along with picking off five passes and recording 56 tackles.

Once Carey was inserted into the starting lineup for the Arizona Wildcats, he produced at the pace he showed during his high school days. He owns the top two spots on the school season-record rushing chart and is also the holder of the Wildcats all-time record with 4,239 yards on the ground. That figure leads all active college platers and is seventh-best in Pac-12 Conference annals.

Carey also established the school career-record with 5,483 all-purpose yards, setting the second spot on the annual chart with 2,248 yards as a sophomore. He is tied for fifth in conference history with a school career-record 48 touchdown runs, the most by any active player in the nation. He also leads the active players with 52 total touchdowns and ranks third with an average of 117.75 yards per game rushing.

After the Wildcats defeated Boston College in the 2013 Advocare V100 Bowl, Carey made the decision to leave school. On January 13th, 2014, he announced that he had applied for early entry for the 2014 NFL Draft. The two-time consensus All-American and All-Pac-12 Conference selection added 2013 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors prior to making his decision. "Ka'Deem Carey was a great player for us," head coach Rich Rodriguez said. "We wish him all the best as he pursues his professional career."

"I'm excited for the next phase of my career and to enter the NFL Draft," Carey said. "I want to thank God, my family, Coach Rodriguez, Coach Magee and all of my coaches for everything they've done for me. My time playing football for Arizona will always be very special to me and I want to thank the fans and the Tucson community for supporting me throughout my career. The future of Arizona football is bright. Bear Down."


Carey appeared in 36 games for Arizona, starting 24 contests, as he carried 743 times for 4,239 yards (5.71 ypc) and 48 touchdowns…Caught 77 passes for 679 yards (8.82 ypc) and four scores…Added 565 yards on 27 kickoff returns (20.93 avg), along with one solo tackle, as he touched the ball 847 times for 5,483 all-purpose yards, an average of 152.31 yards per game…produced 52 total touchdowns and scored 312 points…Leads all active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players in rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns and an average of 23.53 all-purpose plays per game, ranking second in rushing yardage and an average of 20.64 rushing attempts per game, along with placing third in average rushing yards per game (117.75).

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