David Adams remains Tucson's career-leading college rusher, a Sunnyside grad and former All-Pac-10 tailback who gained 2,571 yards at Arizona from 1984 to 1986.
He knows his time is short atop that list; CDO grad and UA sophomore Ka'Deem Carey is at 2,182 and climbing fast.
"I started watching Ka'Deem when he played for CDO and I knew he was special," said Adams, a star on Arizona's 9-3 team of 1986 who led the Pac-10 with 1,175 yards. "He has taken it to a level that is unprecedented for anybody from Tucson, and some of it is that Arizona's offense is geared to people who can make things happen. Vance Johnson would've done well in this offense."
Johnson, a Cholla grad and Super Bowl veteran who is Carey's uncle, gained 1,873 rushing yards in his Arizona career (1981-84).
Adams believes, however, that Carey's mentality, and not the UA's offense, sets him apart.
"He's not afraid, and if you're not afraid, combined with Ka'Deem's God-given ability, you're going to get a lot of yards," said Adams. "Not many people speak of fear in football, but it's a significant factor. Watch Ka'Deem. He's not thinking 'oh, this might hurt if I jump over this guy.' He's not thinking 'I better not run in this crowd and deal with all the drama.'
"He hits the hole with an attitude like 'I don't give a damn; I'm gonna hit them harder than they hit me.' He's not looking to run in space. He's raising the bar for everyone."
Carey became the 10th high school player from Tucson to run for more than 1,000 yards as a collegian. Here's the coveted list:
• Adams, Sunnyside/Arizona, 2,571.
• Carey, CDO/Arizona, 2,182.
• Mario Bates, Amphi/ASU, 2,025.
• Johnson, Cholla/Arizona, 1,873.
• Jon Volpe, Amphi/Stanford, 1,674.
• David Eldridge, Pueblo/Arizona, 1,621.
• Chris Hopkins, Salpointe/ ASU, 1,584.
• Michael Smith, Sunnyside/Utah State, 1,313.
• Derriak Anderson, Tucson/Arizona, 1,115.
Don't get carried away with QB recruits' ratings
After Arizona plays in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, the UA's succession of quarterbacks, unprecedented in production, will go from Willie Tuitama to Nick Foles to Matt Scott to … Jesse Scroggins? Anu Solomon?
Never in modern UA football history have two incoming QBs been rated as highly as Scroggins and Solomon. Getting recruiting pledges from those young men is a testament to Rich Rodriguez's reputation as a quarterback guru.
Scroggins was the nation's No. 6-rated QB in 2010, signing with ex-USC coach Pete Carroll.Solomon last week led Las Vegas Bishop Gorman to a fourth consecutive Nevada state championship, compiling a 57-3 prep record.
Their skills are similar but their backgrounds are greatly different. Scroggins is the son of an Army enlisted man, Jesse Scroggins Sr., who now works for the U.S. Postal Service in Long Beach, Calif. Solomon is the son of a former Honolulu prep football star, Jarrett Solomon, now a ramp agent for Southwest Airlines in Las Vegas.
Arizona has never had recruiting commitments from two QBs of such stature.
But don't get carried away yet: Scroggins struggled this year at El Camino College, splitting time with freshman Nicholas King before injuring a shoulder and missing most of the second half of the season. Solomon played against decidedly weak competition in the greater Las Vegas region.
In 1995, Arizona gave a scholarship to a former Southern California prep quarterback, Leon Blunt, who was probably, at that time, the highest ranked high school QB ever to consent to play for the Wildcats. Blunt, twice the Los Angeles All-City QB, spent his freshman year at Notre Dame, eschewing offers from USC and Oklahoma, before tiring of playing behind Ron Powlus.
At Arizona, Blunt didn't play a single down. He quit football and left school after one year.
If RichRod wins, expect contract tweaks, raises
The finances of big-league college football are so out of control that, ultimately, if Rich Rodriguez continues to win at Arizona, the Wildcats are going to have to pay him considerably more than his current $1.75 million, which exceeds only Oregon State's Mike Riley in the Pac-12. The Wildcats are likely to quietly give RichRod a modest raise, to be announced in 2013. Don't expect that to be the last time RichRod's deal is tweaked. … Bisbee's Mike Hicks nails it when he puts Arizona's football season into the following perspective: "Isn't it interesting that most folks had no expectations for the UA football team and now they are lamenting playing in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl? They exceeded expectations by so much that we can afford to be disappointed." … Casino del Sol's first grand sports venture, the Sewailo Golf Course, will stage a media event Wednesday, introducing course designer Notah Begay and showing off Southern Arizona's newest golf facility. This isn't just another golf course, it will immediately join the area's most tony facilities, such as Stone Canyon Club and The Gallery Golf Club, and perhaps go beyond. It is a facility of such scope, estimated at more than $20 million, that it will have three separate driving ranges (for juniors, for the public and for an on-site Jack Nicklaus academy). Big question: In a market overbuilt with golf courses, who will drive out there to regularly play it (and pay for it)? … Kyle Fogg made his NBA D-League debut on Thursday, scoring 10 points in 15 minutes for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Fogg was the 10th man in the game for the Vipers. He might soon play against last year's Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, Tony Wroten, who bolted Washington after one season and finds himself on the bench of the Reno Bighorns after getting 8 minutes of action for the Memphis Grizzlies last month. Wroten wasn't ready for the NBA, obviously, and now is just another guy in the D-League. He could've been an All-American at Washington by 2013-14.
More Short Stuff
Stanford honors CDO grad Martinez on special teams
In his freshman season at Stanford, former Canyon del Oro All-State linebacker Blake Martinez played on kickoff coverage teams and was selected as the school's Greg Piers Memorial Award winner, or the MVP of Stanford's defensive special teams. … At San Jose State, Sahuaro grad Niko Kittrell, who redshirted this season, was named the school's Show Team Award winner as the top scout team/practice player for the season. Kittrell is expected to be a pass rusher for the Spartans next year. … After Saturday's Heisman ceremony, the only major award left for the 2012 college athletics season is the Bowerman Award, presented to the top male and female track and field athletes. UA Olympics silver medal high jumper Brigetta Barrett is one of three finalists for the women's award. She will be in Orlando, Fla., for the televised ceremony Dec. 19, facing tough competition from LSU sprinter Kim Duncan and Oregon heptathlete Brianne Theisen. The Bowerman award does not include Olympic results; Barrett is unbeaten in her last 17 college high jumping events. She will be accompanied by her estimable coach, Sheldon Blockburger, who will present a symposium on jumping at the annual U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches convention in Orlando. … One thing I absolutely love about the UA's pregame ceremonies at McKale Center is the video presentation celebrating the school's basketball tradition. At last week's Southern Miss game, the UA gave exposure to Ernie McCray, a Tucson High grad who in 1960 scored a still-standing UA record of 46 points in a game. Well done.
Dosty sisters excel abroad
Tucson sisters Sybil and Whitney Dosty plan to meet for a pre-Christmas reunion Dec. 17 in Poland, of all places. The Salpointe Catholic High grads continue to make an international mark in their respective sports: Sybil, an ASU grad, was selected the Polish women's basketball league's player of the week, scoring 17 points with 12 rebounds for Gorzow last week. Whitney, an Arizona grad, leads South Korea's Nong Hyup pro volleyball league in kills. … Even though Mike Candrea is a month removed from completing his freshman class of 2013, the UA softball coach continues to hit it out of the park in recruiting. He has now received commitments from two of the leading 2015 prospects in the country: lefty-hitting Justin Garganese of Shadow Ridge High in Las Vegas, a first-base/outfield prospect who was an all-city selection as a 2012 freshman; and Phoenix Horizon pitcher Tamara Statman, who hit .421 this year as a freshman and won 16 games, including an 11-1 victory over Tucson High in the second round of the state tournament. … When billionaire Herbert Simon bought the Tucson Sidewinders five years ago and moved them to Reno, Nev., he financed a $55 million downtown Reno stadium. Last month, Simon threatened to move the Aces, a Pacific Coast League team, unless the city kicked in about $1 million a year in a refinancing settlement. Reno caved in. Wish the city would've told him to walk. … After sophomore Kevin Cordes set two American records in the Winter Nationals last week, the Arizona men's swimming team rose to No. 1 in the new collegeswimming.com poll. The Wildcats are loaded again, with Cordes, Woody Joye, Matt Barber, Mitchell Friedemann and Carl Mickelson, among others. UA coach Eric Hansen leaves for Istanbul today where he will be head coach of Team USA in the World Championships. The U.S. teams include Cordes and UA/Ford Aquatics swimmers Matt Grevers, Clark Burckle, Bonnie Brandon, Christine Magnuson and Ellyn Baumgardner.
My Two Cents
Byrne tackles upgrades to UA athletic plant head-on, not piecemeal
In July 2009, Jim Livengood spent about $500,000 to produce two books, more than 500 total pages, detailing the future of Arizona's athletic plant and the cost to upgrade it.
Now we know that McKale Center, which was built for $8.1 million 40 years ago, will cost about $80 million to bring into the 21st century. (Does that mean it would cost about $800 million to re-fit McKale in 2045?)
In Livengood's study, architect Nelson Scott Smith estimated it would cost about $10 million just to do the most basic overhaul of McKale's doors, floors, roofing, stairs, plumbing and ventilating. And then came the big money for expansion.
Athletic director Greg Byrne, who has been on the job for 2 1/2 years, has taken it to the next stage. He has developed and began to execute a plan for the more than $150 million makeover to McKale and Arizona Stadium.
And that's just a start. The costs for future projects are mind-boggling. Arizona Stadium was essentially built in stages, in 1928, 1938, 1945, 1950 and 1976, and those dimensions are outdated.
In many cases, McKale Center and Arizona Stadium have been retrofitted so often that the UA got stuck in a cycle of retrofitting the retrofits.
To his credit, Byrne has stopped the cycle of patching up the problems and leaving them for others to tackle.