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Arizona Wildcats’ Ka’Deem Carey a finalist for Doak Walker Award

Ka'Deem Carey amid the fans after they rushed the field at the end of the Oregon game. Photo by Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Ka’Deem Carey amid the fans after they rushed the field at the end of the Oregon game. Photo by Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Wildcats junior running back Ka’Deem Carey is one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back, it was announced Monday.

The other finalists are Boston College’s Andre Williams and Washington’s Bishop Sankey.

(I am a voter for the award, and I also voted for those three out of 10 semifinalists.)

The finalists earn a trip to Orlando for the The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 12, when the winner will be announced on ESPN.

Carey, a 2012 consensus All-American, is second nationally in rushing to Williams and is working on a streak of 14 consecutive games with at least 119 yards. His untiring performance in a upset of Oregon last Saturday — 48 carries, 206 yards — earned him Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors and perhaps put him in a wide-open Heisman discussion.

“He carried 48 times and he’s running as hard on his 48th as he is on his eighth carry,” said Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez. “Pretty remarkable.”

Carey’s runs haven’t been as flashy as last season — when he had more carries of 20-plus yards (23) than anyone in the nation — and that actually makes his production this season all the more impressive. He’s able to handle a huge workload while being nearly the sole focus of opposing defenses, which wasn’t always the case last year when the Wildcats had quarterback Matt Scott and better receivers.

Carey is averaging 155.9 yards and 29.0 carries per game.

The only back who is better in those categories is Williams — 188.45 yards and 29.1 carries per game.

It was pretty much a no-brainer that Carey would be among the final three for the Doak Walker Award.

“If he’s not, it’s a travesty,” Rodriguez said before Monday’s announcement, joking that whoever didn’t vote for Carey should have all voting privileges revoked.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to vote for president,” he said. “They shouldn’t be allowed to vote for anything, even Homecoming queen.”

He added: “I think he’s the best in the country, not just one of three finalists, based on his body of work.”

Carey will be trying to become the first Arizona player to win a major national award for offense.

Recent stories on Ka’Deem Carey:

Carey is the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week

Carey on setting the Arizona rushing record: ‘It’s a together thing’

A complete listing of Ka’Deem Carey’s 20 school records

Arizona football: Enjoy Ka’Deem Carey while you can

Ka’Deem Carey’s all-around skills put him in first-round range

Andy Morales looks back at Ka’Deem Carey’s high school career at CDO

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