There will be no encore for Ka’Deem Carey.
The Arizona Wildcats running back and Canyon del Oro High School product will skip his senior season and enter May’s NFL draft, the UA announced today.
“I’m excited for the next phase of my career and to enter the NFL Draft,” Carey said in a news release. “I want to thank God, my family, Coach (Rich) Rodriguez, Coach (Calvin) Magee and all of my coaches for everything they’ve done for me. My time playing football for Arizona will always be very special to me and I want to thank the fans and the Tucson community for supporting me throughout my career. The future of Arizona football is bright. Bear Down.”
Said Rodriguez: “Ka’Deem Carey was a great player for us. We wish him all the best as he pursues his professional career.”
Carey, the only offensive player in UA history to be named a two-time consensus first-team All-American, leaves Arizona as the owner or co-owner of 26 school records.
The running back couldn’t turn down the second-round grade he received from the NFL draft advisory board and decided to begin his professional career immediately. He’s ranked as the third-best draft-eligible running back by ESPN.com and the 60th best prospect overall.
CBSsports.com has Carey ranked as the 41st best overall prospect and the top running back in the draft.
Carey is the first Arizona player to leave early for the NFL since Rob Gronkowski in 2010 and the first UA running back to declare early since Chris Henry in 2007. He'll have company in the draft: 16 other underclassman running backs have declared already.
Carey finishes his Arizona career with a school-record 4,239 yards over three seasons, which ranks him seventh on the Pac-12 all-time career rushing list. He also set school records in all-purpose yards (5,483), rushing touchdowns (48) and total touchdowns (52).
For more on Carey’s decision, check back to StarNet later this afternoon.