Ka'Deem Carey Will Push Towards the Heisman Trophy in 2013

Austin KempAnalyst IMay 21, 2013

TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 08:  Runningback Ka'Deem Carey #25 of the Arizona Wildcats rushes the football for a 25 yard touchdown against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the fourth quarter of the college football game at Arizona Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Cowboys 59-38.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Ka’Deem Carey was able to burst onto the scene last season as a sophomore, leading the nation with over 1,900 rushing yards and totaling 23 touchdowns on the ground.  Now, being a year older and entering his second year in Rich Rodriguez’s spread attack, Carey will look to stay atop the leading rushers in the country and cement himself as a Heisman trophy contender.

At 5’11, 203 pounds, Carey is a nightmare for defenders in the open field.  He has the ability to run through arm tackles and can also take a defender for a ride if tackled up high.  Though his top-end speed isn’t great, Carey’s vision is what separates him.  Once he spots a hole, he’s able to hit it as fast as any running back in the country.

Looking at Rich Rod’s running backs he’s coached in the past, evidence points for an improvement for Carey in 2013.  

At West Virginia in 2001, running back Avon Cobourne rushed for 1,298 yards during his first season.  Fast forward a year and you’ll see his numbers jumped by nearly 500 yards, increasing his total amount to 1,710.  This can be seen for Steve Slaton as well, who jumped from 1,128 yards in 2005, to 1,744 in 2006.  An increase of over 600 yards.

If this trend carries over to Carey, he could be in for a season that sees him eclipse well over 2,000 rushing yards.  If that’s the case, how could you leave him out of the Heisman discussion?  You couldn’t.  Heck, it was a shame there was no mention of him last season in the discussion.

Naturally, teams in general make a noticeable leap when entering a coach’s second season.  Yes, the Cats lost their QB to the NFL, but they have others with a year’s experience under their belts.  The receivers and the offensive line will naturally improve now that they know what to expect with the new coaching staff, and because of this, Carey will benefit greatly.  

The schedule isn’t too daunting, either.  With the first three games consisting of Northern Arizona, UNLV, and UTSA, Carey should be able to rack in huge numbers depending on how much playing time he actually receives.  Arizona also misses Stanford and Oregon State on the schedule, who were two of the top three defensive teams in the conference last season.   

This is shaping up to be another incredible season by Ka’Deem Carey, and the funny thing is, most of the nation still doesn’t know who he his.  If he is able to elevate his game even more than last season, the Tucson native should receive serious Heisman consideration.  No one can predict injuries, but if Carey is able to stay healthy all season, he will, again, be the leading rusher in college football.