Television announcers have made a point in recent games to mention how Arizona Wildcats running back Ka’Deem Carey is one of the most underrated players in the conference, if not the country.
It will be hard to make that claim now.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez likes to say that Carey “runs angry,” a high football compliment. Carey is listed at 197 pounds, but he “runs stronger” than his weight, Rodriguez said.
“He makes you tackle him,” Rodriguez said.
“That’s what the good backs do. They don’t fall down easily. Ka’Deem has great balance. He runs like it’s going to be the last time he carries the ball, so he tries to make the most of it.
“We kind of thought that coming into the season, but he’s been as good or better than advertised.”
Carey is 19th nationally in rushing with 111.67 yards per game. He has 126 carries for 670 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Carey is third in the Pac-12 in rushing, trailing a pair of seniors — UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin (125.4) and Oregon’s Kenjon Barner (121.2). Carey also has 21 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown.
His 11.0 points per game ranks ninth nationally.
Rodriguez said Carey reminds him of a couple of his backs from his early days as head coach at West Virginia — Avon Cobourne and Quincy Wilson.
Cobourne rushed for 3,901 yards and 32 touchdowns as a Mountaineer; Wilson went for 2,608 yards and 20 scores on the ground.
“He’s built a little bit like them, especially Quincy,” Rodriguez said. “Those were guys that an arm tackle wasn’t going to get them down. They were going to make you put them on the ground.”