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Ka’Deem Carey: The best running back to ever grace the state of Arizona

He is the career leader in rushing yards (3,919) and touchdowns (49) for Arizona. He had 10 games last season in which he rushed for 100 yards and has a streak going of 14 consecutive games with at least 100 yards on the ground.

On Saturday against Oregon, he carried the ball a school-record 48 times for 206 yards to lead the upset of the Ducks and earning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors.

He is the Wildcats Ka’Deem Carey and he is the greatest running back to ever play professionally or collegiately in the state of Arizona.

That includes, among others, Larry Centers, JR Redmond, Trung Candidate, Archie Amerson, Terry Battle, Marion Grice and anyone else you can think of. (And no I am not including the two pathetic years that Emmitt Smith spent in a Cardinals uniform.)

Carey led the NCAA in rushing last season with 1,929 and added 23 touchdowns and this season, for an encore, he has produced 1,559 yards on the ground, good for fourth best in the country. He is currently 10th overall in career rushing yards in the conference and has a chance to move up to seventh in the next two games.

And it could have been higher if he didn’t get in trouble. Carey missed the opener this year against NAU after an off-season arrest that saw him charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct stemming from a domestic violence incident. He also didn’t enter the second game of the season against UNLV until the second quarter.

The 5-foot-10, 207-pound bruiser rushed for 236 yards against Utah earlier this season and 206 versus the Ducks. Neither came close to his career high — a Pac-12 record 366 yards on 25 carries against Colorado in 2012.

After Arizona finished 11th in the Pac-12 in rushing (94 yards per game) under Mike Stoops in 2011, when Keola Antolin led the team in rushing with 568 yards, Rich Rodriguez installed an offense suited to take advantage of Carey.

The junior from Tucson, who had 425 yards rushing in Stoops final year, has rewarded Rodriguez. Last season, Arizona was second to Oregon in rushing at 227 yards per game and this year they are up 40 yards a game to an amazing 267 yards rushing per game.

Carey will play on Sundays. He may even be a first-round pick. Either way, he will leave quite a legacy behind, not only as the best running back in Wildcat history, but the best in the state of Arizona history.