Arizona Football

Former Arizona Wildcats RB Ka’Deem Carey to East coast media: “You’re sleeping on us”


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Former Arizona Wildcats running back Ka’Deem Carey met the press today (watch some of the highlights above) at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. The greatest takeaway from an Arizona standpoint was his comments about his decision to forego his senior season with the Wildcats

“They definitely tried to keep me,” Carey said about Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez and his staff. “I built great relationships with the coaches there. (Associate head coach/co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach) Calvin Magee was awesome. He taught me everything I know now.

“It was definitely hard leaving them because of the relationships that we built. And the future that they have coming up … I mean, they’re going to have a great season this year and possibly bring home a Rose Bowl. I definitely could have helped that. … That was definitely a factor … but I made the right decision.”

Carey, always confident of his ability, said he could have come back to Arizona for his senior year and be “bigger and stronger and definitely dominate at that level.”

“My decision was I was ready for the league,” Carey continued. “I felt like I was ready a year ago but I just couldn’t leave. I stayed consistent this year and it really proved to me that I could provide for my family.”


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Carey may not go as high as he wants — in the first or second round — and may slip to the third round. NFL scouting guru Mike Mayock told KOLD-TV Thursday that he has Carey going in the third round as the sixth-ranked back, behind Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde, LSU’s Jeremy Hill, Washington’s Bishop Sankey, Boston College’s Andre Williams and Auburn’s Tre Mason.

Carey expressed his amazement that NFL scouts are not putting much of a premium on running backs in this year’s draft. The running backs listed above may not be selected until late in the first round and most likely not until the second round.

“Tell me about it,” Carey said with a laugh. “I’ve seen Reggie Bush, I’m seeing all these boys going first pick. I’m like, ‘OK, that’s exactly what I can do and that’s what I’m going to do.’ Next thing you know I get nowadays and they’re like, ‘Wait, you have to go second or third round.’ Why didn’t y’all tell me this a couple years ago that running backs were going extinct? I’m definitely OK with it, and I’m just trying to bring it back and show that we’re definitely valuable. But I definitely would have went to corner(back) or something.”

What might have cost some Carey popular reviews heading into the scouting combine was his lack of exposure on the East coast because of the late game times on the West coast in the Pac-12. That also factored into Carey not receiving an invitation to the Heisman Trophy presentation.

“East Coast bias,” Carey said again with a laugh. “I’m sorry everybody, but you guys are sleeping on us, literally asleep at the time that we’re playing. I don’t blame you. I’d be asleep, too. I like my sleep.”

Carey is loving the notoriety now at the scouting combine because he finally gets the chance to answer critics and scouts about his perceived lack of speed.

“A 4.5 (in the 40) would be solid,” Carey said. “The know I have that getaway speed. The film speaks (the) rest. (Scouts) are comfortable in the way I play. They just want me to get away from that last defender.”

Carey is not showing any indication of succumbing to the pressure of impressing scouts and NFL officials in Indianapolis. His carefree personality now is the same as when he attended Canyon del Oro High School. He takes heed to the simple yet profound advice of his mother Tisha Adkins Carey: “Walk around with a big smile and be happy each day.”

“I’m enjoying this,” Carey said of the combine. “I get to speak to the coaches and they get to know my personality.”

Based on that alone, Carey is a first-round choice.

He hopes that starting next season, NFL teams and their fans will discover he belonged in that same class talent-wise with Reggie Bush, not past the second round.

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.COM publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.


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