Ka'Deem Carey Emerging as Bona Fide Superstar in Arizona Backfield

Tom Greenhalgh@@Tom_GreenhalghContributor IIIOctober 24, 2012

Ka'Deem Carey is on pace to become one of Arizona's most storied running backs.
Ka'Deem Carey is on pace to become one of Arizona's most storied running backs.Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Few fans outside of the Pac-12 footprint have become properly acquainted with Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey.

For one, Arizona is currently unranked and of little consequence on the national landscape.

For another, the Pac-12 is loaded with talented backs—Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas, Stepfan Taylor and Johnathan Franklin to name just a few.

Nevertheless, Carey has been superb.

In seven games, the sophomore standout has compiled a gaudy 842 yards, good for fourth best in the Pac-12. He has rushed for 11 touchdowns, placing him one behind Oregon's Kenjon Barner for the conference lead.

Fresh off of a monstrous 172-yard performance against the Washington Huskies, Carey has positioned himself to make a run at Arizona's single-season rushing record of 1,602 yards, currently held by Trung Canidate.

Carey's ability to make a serious run at Canidate's mark rests heavily on Arizona's ability to reach a bowl game.

Should the Wildcats (4-3, 1-3) stumble down the stretch, Carey will likely fall well short of Canidate's record. His current 12-game pace would leave him at 1,443 yards.

However, should the Wildcats go bowling, Carey may make a serious run at Arizona's single-season record. His current 13-game pace would land him at 1,563 yards, 40 yards short of eclipsing the 13-year-old mark.

Perhaps what bodes best for Carey in his quest to trump Canidate is the fact he appears to be getting stronger each week. His rushing totals have increased in each of his past five games.

But that's not the only program record Carey is after.

Should Arizona in fact reach a bowl game, Carey may also be poised to make a run at Art Luppino's six-decade-old record of 21 rushing touchdowns. Assuming a 13th game, Carey would wind up with 20 touchdowns at his current trajectory.

Few people worry that he'll fall off. It's his consistency that breeds such confidence. Consider that only twice has he failed to eclipse 100 yards in a game. Only once has he failed to rush for a touchdown.

Wildcats fans are gushing about the hometown product, and with good reason. They'll be the first to remind you he's only a sophomore.

While Carey is not a household name across the nation just yet, he'll have an excellent opportunity to turn some heads, with powerhouse USC heading to Tucson this weekend.

The Wildcats will need him if they have any shot of pulling off the upset.