And the resume keeps on growing for the former Canyon Del Oro Dorado Ka’Deem Carey.
For the second consecutive year, the Arizona Wildcats’ star running back was named a first team, consensus All-American by the American Football Coaches Association alongside fellow repeaters Will Sutton from Arizona State and C.J. Mosley of Alabama.
“That means a lot,” said Carey. “Coach Rich Rod had a plan for me, and this front line has got to work this year. Another year to send me to a consensus means we were working.”
Rodriguez, who led the Wildcats to a 7-5, 4-5 Pac-12 season, congratulated Carey on Wednesday morning shortly after the honor was announced.
“Well earned,” he said. “It’s an accomplishment for him certainly, but also for the guys around him – the guys that blocked for him, for the quarterback making the right reads and all that. He’s had two really good years, two All-American years.”
The accomplishment comes about one month after Carey broke the school record in rushing yards and touchdowns in a 42-16 win over the then No. 5-ranked Oregon Ducks – a game in which the 5’10”, 206-pound running back scored four touchdowns and rushed for 206 yards to top Trung Canidate’s 3,824 rushing yards from 1996-1999 and Art Lupinno’s 48 touchdowns from 1953-1956.
Now the question is whether or not Carey will stick around for his senior year to add to a football resume that no doubt has NFL scouts drooling.
“My mind definitely isn’t made up,” said Carey. “I’m stuck in between a lot.”
It’s a decision that Carey said will most likely come after the approaching AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl in Louisiana, where the Wildcats will square off against Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC).
But it could also come much earlier.
“I could make it tomorrow,” said Carey. “I could wake up, my mind set, and know what I want to do, but my plan is to make it after the bowl game. One step at a time.”
The first step is to defeat Boston College. To do so, the Wildcats will have to find an answer for Boston’s Andre Williams, who recently topped Carey for the honor of the Doak Walker Award, which recognizes the nation’s top running back each year.
But the competitive spirit in Carey won’t let him be bothered that he was passed up, instead prompting him to make a friendly bet with Williams over who will collect more rushing yards in the bowl game to be held on New Year’s Eve in Shreveport, La.
Former Ironwood Ridge graduate and senior Wildcat linebacker Jake Fischer is banking on Carey to win that competition – partially because he will be opposite the line of scrimmage from Williams, and partially because of his faith in his teammate.
“He never surprises me, that kid,” said Fischer about Carey. “I was kind of surprised he didn’t get even more accolades. He works his tail off everyday. I’m proud of what he’s done. If he leaves, he’s going to do great at the next level. If he stays another year, he’ll put the record book at an all-time high, and nobody is ever going to touch it.”
As for his own future, Fischer’s mind is made up.
“I’m going to try out the NFL, and hopefully I can make it, God willing,” said Fischer. “If not, then we’ll see what happens from there.”
While the season – and, at least for Fischer – a career with the Arizona Wildcats draws to an end with the prospect of bigger things approaching, there is no forgetting their own roots as players who got their start in northwest Tucson high schools.
That memory has helped Carey on and off the field.
“My coaches – coach Peace – they built me into a young man,” said Carey. “Entering this journey, they prepared me well. Focusing on grades – they always said the school side is the better side, and then I came here and had no problem with academics, and have been on top ever since.”