Monday was a big day for Ka’Deem Carey, even though he didn’t step anywhere near a football field.
Arizona’s junior running back was named a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the top running back in the country. Washington’s Bishop Sankey and Boston College’s Andre Williams are the other candidates for the award.
Carey is the first Doak Walker finalist in Arizona history.
The former Canyon del Oro High School star will head to Orlando, Fla., next month for the Home Depot College Football Awards Show, where the winner will be announced. The event will be shown live on ESPN.
Carey has rushed for 1,556 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. He became the school’s career all-time leading rusher on Saturday.
Carey’s 3,913 career rushing yards lead all active Football Bowl Subdivision rushers, as do his 49 career touchdowns.
Carey is coming off a 48-carry, 206-yard performance against Oregon on Saturday. The 48 carries were the most by an FBS running back this season.
“I think he’s the best in the country,” UA coach Rich Rodriguez said Monday before the finalists were announced. “He’s at least one of the three best, right? He carried it 48 times and he carried as hard on his 48th as he did on his eighth. It’s pretty remarkable.”
Rodriguez had some fun with the voting process.
“If he’s not one of the three finalists based on his body of work and what he’s done — I don’t know who’s voting — but take away their voting privileges,” Rodriguez said.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to vote for the president, senator, they shouldn’t be able to vote for anything — homecoming queen,” he added.
Carey was also named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week on Monday for the second time this season. Carey also won the award after the Utah game where he rushed for 232 yards on 39 carries.
Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly, Stanford’s Ty Montgomery and Sankey were among the other players nominated.
ASU’s Chris Young was named the Defensive Player of the Week, and UCLA’s Ishmael Adams won the special teams award.
Carey was also named the national running back of the week by the College Football Performance Awards.