The Northwest community learned of him as he wore green and gold, Tucson learned of him as he wore cardinal and Navy blue, and now the country will learn of Ka’Deem Carey as he puts on his white, burnt orange and Navy blue jersey of the Chicago Bears.

During the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Carey was picked up and will back starter Matt Forte for the Bears. He was the 117th player taken overall during the draft and the 11th running back picked this year.

“I just know we got ourselves a heck of a football player,” said Marc Trestman, Carey’s new head coach, during press conference. “He loves football. He’s passionate about it. He has been extremely productive. He’s all-purpose. We view him as a three-down back who can play in any situation and run routes out of the backfield, certainly running inside and outside. So, we are excited about him.”

Carey joins former Wildcats linebacker Lance Briggs, offensive lineman Eben Britton and tight end Fendi Onobun (basketball) on the Bears’ roster.

Carey left Arizona after his junior season, but from 2011-13, Carey was a two-time consensus All-American, a two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection and the 2013 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.

“You have dreams of playing in the snow. And you have dreams of playing in 10 degrees, and in the rain,” Carey said in a recent interview. “And I can’t wait to be in that atmosphere and play and get a chance to go out there and play football in six inches of snow.”

In 2012, he was the nation’s leading rusher in yards per game (148.4) and total yards (1,929). He is Arizona’s all-time career rushing leader (4,232 yards) and ranks seventh all-time in Pac-12 history. Carey owns the Arizona and Pac-12 single-game rushing records (366 yards vs. Colorado in 2012) and Arizona’s single-season rushing record (1,929 yards in 2012). In total, he owns or shares 26 Arizona single-game, season and career records.

Carey led CDO to a state title his junior year and was an All-State selection for the Dorados and in his final year as a Dorado, Carey rushed for 1,754 yards on 198 carries. He started on the freshman team, but a short while into the season, he was bumped up to the varsity team.

The Explorer sat down and spoke to him and his family during that time in 2007.

Carey’s mother had no doubts whatsoever that he would reach the NFL to which his grandmother chimed in, “He’s like, ‘It’s easy. You get the ball and you score the touchdown. Why do you guys yell and make it seem like something so significant.’”

Back then, the 5-foot, 10-inch 170-pound running back claimed he could bench press 225 and do the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.

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