TUCSON (AP) — The knock on Ka’Deem Carey is that he’s not very big at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds. But is he fast. And prolific.
Carey gained an eye-popping 2,738 yards on 224 carries with 43 touchdowns for Canyon del Oro in Tucson last season, leading the 14-0 Dorados to the Arizona 4A title. He ran for 267 yards and five touchdowns in a 40-0 victory over Tucson Sabino in the championship game.
He was named The Arizona Republic’s big schools player of the year last season.
Carey has been seen as something of an unheralded gem in Arizona, racking up the yards without a lot of notice nationally. But Mike Stoops and the Arizona Wildcats took note and offered him early — scoring an in-state recruiting triumph over Arizona State’s Dennis Erickson.
“They want to win,” Carey said of the Wildcats after making his announcement. “They’re working hard. And that’s what I want to be around.”
He runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, combining speed with balance and instinct. One issue is his grades, which he’ll have to improve to be academically eligible to join the Wildcats. To that end, he has been attending summer school.
Academics may have also been a reason that many schools held back with interest. In addition to the Arizona schools, Colorado State also offered Carey a scholarship.
Carey burst on to the scene as a freshman, returning a kick for a touchdown in the 4A title game. He also became a YouTube sensation when he leaped over a would-be tackler at the goal-line, then did a full flip and landed on his feet.
Carey’s two goals for his senior season are to rush for 3,000 yards and get his grades up.