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Trung Canidate ready to hand off Arizona rushing record to Ka’Deem Carey

Trung Canidate often was running in front of defenders. Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images Sport

Trung Canidate often was running in front of defenders. Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images Sport

Trung Canidate couldn’t be caught on the field, only in the record books.

The former Arizona Wildcat watched in person as Ka’Deem Carey broke his Arizona Wildcats single-season rushing record last year.

He’s hoping to be able to get back to Tucson this week as Carey aims at an even bigger mark — the school career rushing record.

“I met him last year when he was breaking another one of my records,” Canidate told TucsonCitizen.com on Monday. “He’s well-built and he runs vicious.

“I knew he was going to break the (career) record, if he stayed healthy. On my end, it was already gone. I already knew it was over. I made sure I got my second seat ready.

“It’s a soft hit right in my ribs, but, you know, records are made to be broken.”

Carey needs 118 yards against fifth-ranked Oregon on Saturday at Arizona Stadium to pass Canidate, who raced for 3,824 yards from 1996 to 1999.

Considering Carey is working on a streak of 13 consecutive games with at least 119 yards, the odds of the junior breaking the record this weekend are good. The Ducks, though, are the only team, in 23 games, to hold an Arizona-coached Rich Rodriguez squad under 100 rushing yards. They did so last season in a 49-0 victory.

Carey ran for 1,929 yards last season, putting Canidate and his 1,602 yards in 1999 in the second seat on the school’s single-season list. Carey also broke Canidate’s single-game rushing record last season, with a Pac-12 record 366 yards against Colorado. Canidate’s school mark was 288 yards (on only 18 carries) in his epic performance in a 50-42 victory against Arizona State in 1998.

“Everybody remembers that game,” Canidate said.

“They thank me for it, and some people condemn me for it. That was one of those everything-hitting-on-all-points games. The thing is, we needed every one of those yards.”

So, while Carey writes his name at the top of many school rushing records, Canidate’s place in UA lore is still secure.

“It’s meant a lot to me,” he said of the career rushing record.

Trung Canidate was the last pick of the first round in 2000 NFL Draft. Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images Sport

Trung Canidate was the last pick of the first round in 2000 NFL Draft. Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images Sport

“I know how much work went into that, especially from the guys I played with — Yusuf Scott, Ed Mulitalo, Mike Lucky, Dennis Northcutt, Brandon Manumaleuna, Keith Smith, O.J. (Ortege Jenkins). A lot of hard work went into that, and I received a lot of help.

“I know the record is something he is going to enjoy. I just have to make sure he leaves me all the little records I got. Just leave me a couple so I can show my son.”

His son, Trung Jaiden, is nearing his third birthday.

Carey can’t take away the fact that Canidate led the nation in yards per carry in 1998, averaging 7.3. And Canidate still holds the school record for longest run — 96 yards.

Amazing stat: He averaged 43.8 yards on his 26 career touchdown runs.

“He had so many long runs,” former UA coach Dick Tomey told TucsonCitizen.com this summer, “maybe more than anybody in the Pac-10 ever had. Such an explosive player. Nobody made a greater impact on our offense during the years we were there than Trung.”

Carey, who was 7 years old when Canidate was finishing his UA career, apparently did his research before the two Cats met last year.

“Seems like he knew the tradition of Arizona pretty well. I left a little bit of residue there, so I guess he checked it out a little bit,” Canidate said.

“He seemed like any great running back — you always know who came before you, who holds the record. Guys like Ontiwaun Carter, Art Luppino, Chuck Levy, they gave me something to shoot for.”

Canidate lives in Phoenix, married for just more than a year. He does some personal training, holds youth football camps throughout the state and went over to Los Angeles recently to help the track team at Harvard-Westlake High.

His words of wisdom to Carey and his younger pupils:

“The one thing I would always say to anybody is, ‘You have to be great, not just on the field but off the field.’ That’s going to take you a lot further in anything you do.”


Top 50 football players in Arizona history: Trung Canidate, No. 19

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Here are highlights of Canidate’s legendary game against Arizona State in 1998. His 80-yard run starts at the 30-second mark, and then go to 9:50 to see his 66-yard sprint and to the 11:28 mark to check out his 48-yard score down the sideline:

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