It’s a proud parent moment for Arizona fans as Ka’Deem Carey has officially declared for the NFL Draft this spring, forgoing his senior year. Sure, it would have been nice to have him stick around another year but the writing was on the wall and the time has come for Ka’Deem to take his talents to the NFL.
The local Tucson product took the nation by storm last year as he was the heart and soul of the offense, leading the nation in rushing and earning consensus all-American honors as a sophomore. Ka’Deem also broke the Pac-12 single game rushing record last year against Colorado, totaling 366 yards on the ground. Teams didn’t find much success when it came to stopping him as he rushed for more than 119 yards in every game this season. Dating back to last season, Ka’Deem had totaled 16 consecutive 100-yard games dating back to last season, a feat that has not been accomplished in a over a decade. He was once again a consensus all-American this season and a finalist for the Doak Walker award, an award given to the best running back in the nation. In his two years as a starter, he broke the all-time leading rushing and total touchdown record at Arizona with 4,232 yards and 52 total touchdowns. Should Ka’Deem have chosen to stay one more year, there’s no doubt he could have won the Doak Walker award, been a Heisman finalist and put the Wildcats in contention for Arizona’s first Rose Bowl appearance.
Now that Ka’Deem will no longer be a part of Rich Rodriguez’ offense, now comes the part where someone must step up to help replace Carey. There are a few returners that the Wildcats can look to with Pierre Cormier and Jared Baker. Pierre was a 4-star recruit from Madison High School (San Diego, California) and will now be a redshirt freshman this upcoming year. Jared got some touches this season as a sophomore, however he tore his ACL against ASU this season and will be out for quite some time.
The future of the backfield could be in the legs of two incoming 4-star recruits in Nick Wilson out of Central East High School (Fresno, California) and Jon Haden from Friendship Collegiate Academy (Washington, D.C.). Wilson picked Arizona over UCLA, Wisconsin and Arizona State, while Haden picked Arizona over Ohio State, Tennessee and Maryland. Both should be able to come in and compete with Cormier to try and fill the shoes of Ka’Deem.
We would like to thank Ka’Deem for three great years and wish him the best of luck in the NFL.