Ka’Deem Carey’s running, like here against Arizona State, earned him the award as the Pac-12’s player of the year. He’s averaged 156 yards a game.
Ka’Deem Carey has made all kinds of history this season for the Arizona Wildcats.
He made a little more Monday.
Carey was named the Pac-12’s Offensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches. He’s the first UA player to win the conference award.
The running back also was picked for Pac-12 first-team for the second straight year. He was the only unanimous selection on either side of the ball this season.
Carey is the first running back to be named the conference’s top offensive player since Stanford’s Toby Gerhart in 2009.
“I’ve been proud of Ka’Deem and I don’t know what his numbers are compared to last year, but I think he’s a better football player,” UA coach Rich Rodriguez said last month. “He hasn’t had as many creases or holes at times, but he still runs with great passion. He’s been a really, really good player, and I think he’s still getting better. His best football is still out in front of him.”
Arizona has had seven players (Ricky Hunley, Byron Evans, Chuck Cecil, Dana Wells, Darryll Lewis, Rob Waldrop and Tedy Bruschi) win the conference Defensive Player of the Year award in the program’s history, but never an offensive player. Receiver Mike Thomas was the Freshman Offensive Player of the Year in 2005.
Carey — despite missing the first game of the season against NAU because of a suspension — rushed for 1,716 yards and 17 touchdowns in 11 games during the regular season.
The running back, who is a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, broke Trung Canidate’s school record for career rushing yards this season and has 4,070 with a bowl game still to play.
Carey, who has 50 career scores, also broke the school’s career touchdown record. All told, the running back owns or shares 22 school records.
The Canyon del Oro High School grad is second in the country in rushing yards per game this season at 156 and has gone over 100 yards in 15 straight games, which is the longest streak by an FBS running back in the past decade.
“When I committed to Arizona out of high school, I wanted to do things that no one had ever done before,” Carey said last month. “That’s just what I’ve been trying to do.”
The UA didn’t place any other players on the first or second teams.
Receiver Nate Phillips, linebackers Marquis Flowers and Scooby Wright, nose tackle Tevin Hood and safety Jared Tevis were named honorable mention.
Phillips, a true freshman from Chandler, had 42 catches for 503 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games this season. Flowers, a senior, had 86 tackles, eight more than Tevis and Wright. Hood had 37 tackles.
Arizona State’s Todd Graham was named Coach of the Year and Sun Devils defensive tackle Will Sutton earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. UCLA’s Myles Jack was named the Freshman Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year.