TUCSON, Ariz. — The Ka’Dream Team is picking up steam.
Arizona officials have rolled out a social media campaign for running back Ka’Deem Carey — #TeamKaDeem — to help generate publicity for their junior All-American.
Carey, last year’s leading rusher nationally, again leads the country in rushing this year through seven games with an average of 153.3 yards per contest for the 5-2 Wildcats. He’s also scored 10 rushing touchdowns.
With Carey and the team rolling, Arizona apparently felt comfortable giving #TeamKaDeem some extra hype.
“The reason we hadn’t done it earlier in the year was because Ka’Deem hadn’t proved himself, on and off the field,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. “I think he’s done that … on the field and off the field, which is a major thing.”
Rodriguez wanted to make it clear that none of Carey’s routines — practice or personal — will change.
“We’re not going to roll Ka’Deem out for two hours a day to do interviews,” Rodriguez said. “He’s going to keep doing what he’s been doing. If it gets to where it’s over the top, we’ll shut that down.”
More likely, Rodriguez said, routines will remain in place for the Wildcats. Individual accolades are OK, the coach said, as long as they don’t take away from the team theme.
“It won’t change a single thing of how we approach it,” Rodriguez said. “It just gives a guy a little bit more attention.”
Rodriguez pointed out that Carey is getting “a lot of attention in the outside world anyway.” He added, “I think he’s deserving. I hope he keeps running hard and plays hard and plays another year for (the) Arizona Wildcats.”
Rodriguez smiled after saying that, in part because he knows that Carey, with all the yards and accolades rolling in, is unlikely to return for a senior season in Tucson.
But when it’s time to have that discussion, Rodriguez will sit down with Carey and his family.
“Selfishly, you want all your great players to come back, (but) if you’re a No. 1 (pick) or top-15-20 pick, makes sense (to leave),” Rodriguez said, adding that if a player is not rated that highly, he should should come back.
Arizona linebacker Marquise Flowers was penalized for “abusive language” on Saturday in Arizona’s 44-20 win over Colorado.
It’s not clear what Flowers said, but he was assessed a 15-yard penalty at the beginning of the second half.
“That’s a first,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a tough, violent physical game. I’ve heard a lot of abuse language over the years … sometimes from coaches.”
Rodriguez said he’d look into the call with the Pac-12.
“I’m sure it’s an interpretation,” he said.
The Pac-12 made it two in a row for Arizona’s offense on Monday, naming Wildcats quarterback B.J. Denker the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week.
Carey received the award last week.
Denker finished with 457 yards of total offense against Colorado, rushing for 192 yards and passing for 265 and a touchdown.
“I am happy with the award, and it’s a great honor, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates on both sides of the ball,” Denker said at Monday’s press conference. “Everyone worked to give us a lot of possessions and a lot of opportunities.”
GAME TIME SET
The time for Arizona’s homecoming game with UCLA on Nov. 9 is set for 8 p.m. It will be televised on ESPN.