Former Arizona Wildcats head coach Dick Tomey got a first-hand look at sophomore running back Ka’Deem Carey when he attended last weekend’s rivalry game against Arizona State.
Carey rushed 25 times for 172 yards, despite being limited in the second half because of injury. Carey improved his national-leading rushing average to 146.4 yards per game.
Not surprisingly, Tomey said he thought Carey was “phenomenal,” and the veteran coach came away impressed with one particular aspect of his game.
“I could not believe his leg strength,” Tomey said.
“I was so impressed with the fact that people would hit him and he would keep right on going. He made so many yards after first contact where he moved the pile with pure strength and determination. He was fabulous.”
Carey is rewriting the record books, setting the Pac-12 single-game rushing record with 366 yards against Colorado and the UA season rushing record with 1,757 yards, and counting. Trung Canidate, who held the game and season marks at Arizona, is still the standard for career rushing at UA with 3,824 yards from 1996 to 1999.
Carey, who is sitting at 2,182 yards, can take aim at that mark next season.
While Carey leads the nation with 54 carries of at least 10 yards, he doesn’t have the breakaway speed that landed Candidate in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
“I have never seen anybody like Trung in his ability to go the distance, like, ‘Wow,” Tomey said.
Tomey said it’s almost unfair to start comparing guys, concluding about Carey, “He leads the nation in rushing and you just don’t do that unless you’re outstanding. And I think he’s doing it against some really good defenses in the Pac-12, starting with Stanford.”
The first major All-America team was released Wednesday, but Carey did not make first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association. Oregon’s Kenjon Barner and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball were the first-team backs.
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Every game day is a holiday for Ka’Deem Carey