It's nothing Rich Rodriguez hasn't said before, but it can still be hard to take him serious every time he says it.

"I think we have two starting tailbacks," the Arizona Wildcats coach said Friday at Pac-12 media day.

That's one way to keep the nation's leading rusher motivated.

Ka'Deem Carey carried the ball 303 times last season, gained 1,929 yards, scored 23 touchdowns and was a consensus All-American. But, if you believe Rodriguez, Carey will still give way to senior Daniel Jenkins at times this season.

Jenkins left the program in January and announced he was going to transfer to Washington State. After spending a couple of months in Pullman, Jenkins called an audible and decided to return to Tucson for his final season.

After missing spring drills, the senior from Moreno Valley, Calif., is back with the team and will participate in fall camp. He had 67 carries for 293 yards last season.

"He never really left," Rodriguez said of Jenkins. "He just took a tour - a summer vacation. D.J. is a great kid and I'm happy he decided to end his career where he started.

"I have confidence in D.J. as our other starting tailback and it will give us a little competition."

Here's our reset of the Carey-led running backs:

What the group looked like before spring practice: Jared Baker, So.; Kylan Butler, Sr.; Ka'Deem Carey, Jr.; Terris Jones, So.; Rochon Taylor, Fr.; J.T. Washington, Fr.

What it looks like now: Baker, Butler, Carey, Jenkins, Jones.

Help on the way: Pierre Cormier, San Diego; Zach Green, Ventura, Calif.; Myles Smith, Chandler

By the numbers: 227.8 - The Wildcats averaged 227.8 rushing yards per game last season - second best in the Pac-12.

The lowdown: Washington left the program after the spring. He was a scholarship player, who redshirted last season. Taylor was a walk-on, who joined the team for spring, but is no longer on the roster.

Cormier is a four-star back from San Diego and Green is a three-star. Both could be candidates to redshirt with a lot of talent and depth ahead of them, but it also wouldn't be shocking to see either play. Smith is an invited walk-on. Baker was in the mix for the No. 2 job in the spring, but will now likely be behind Carey and Jenkins.

Summer stock

• The Star will finish its position group reset on Thursday with the quarterbacks after previewing each unit over the past five weeks.

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk.