Ka’Deem Carey paced around the top floor of Fox and Hound Sports Tavern at Foothills Mall with his phone in his right pocket set to vibrate and the loudest ring.
It might as well have been on silent.
The second and third rounds of the NFL draft came and went Friday night without Carey’s name being called.
“It was a long night, but a great night,” Carey said of being with friends and family during the draft. “I’m still waiting to be on a team; I’m still anxious.”
The former Arizona and Canyon del Oro High School star remains on the board as the draft is set to restart this morning at 9.
A running back didn’t get drafted until Washington’s Bishop Sankey was taken by the Tennessee Titans in the second round with the 54th overall pick.
Eight running backs went in the top three rounds, including players from Georgia Southern, Towson and Kent State.
Carey said “of course it’s hard” to remain patient, but it’s a must. He’ll gather with his friends and family again today at a relative’s house and tune back into the draft.
“I’ve been pacing; no one has been through this experience and knows what to expect,” Carey said. “A friend of mine told me patience is a virtue, but that’s easy to say.”
Carey said there are about three or four teams he’ll be watching closely today when the draft resumes. One of those could be the Chicago Bears. The NFC North team has shown recent interest in Carey and has a need for a running back behind starter Matt Forte.
The Bears have the 17th pick of the fourth round.
“There are a few teams I’m just looking closely and seeing the moves they’re making,” Carey said. “They’re making moves, so I’m like ‘man, make the move on me now.’”
Even though Carey wasn’t taken, Friday was still a hearty celebration.
More than 100 people packed a private room at Fox and Hound to watch the draft with Carey.
The running back passed time by playing pool, talking with friends and former teammates and holding his son. The running back wore a bow tie, purple shirt and black slacks.
He chose purple, not because he was hoping the Vikings would scoop him up, but because “it’s the color of royalty.”
Carey said he couldn’t eat anything because he was too nervous.
“I feel like I do before a game,” Carey said before the second round began. “I feel like we’re about to play Oregon or something. It’s like a mix of nerves and excitement.”
Current Arizona Wildcats David Richards and Jared Tevis were on hand as was Carey’s former quarterback at CDO, Jason McBrayer.
Tevis, who completed his undergraduate education at the UA on Friday, played with Carey for three seasons in high school and three more at the UA.
“There’s no other place I’d rather be tonight,” Tevis said. “I know teams are worried about his speed and stuff, but whoever gets him is getting a steal. I knew from one of the first times I played with him that he was special and would be in the NFL.”
And that’s what Carey was focused on Friday night. Even though he would have loved to have heard his name in the first three rounds, the running back fully expects to become a professional football player today and he won’t let himself get disappointed that.
“I’m still excited, I really am,” Carey said. “It’s all about finding the right fit and what will be the best situation for me.”