The Arizona athletic department has brought back the Ka’Deem Carey award push with the reappearance of the Twitter hashtag “#TeamKaDeem” and a web page promoting Carey’s stats along with his career accolades.
The athletic department originally tweeted the hashtag toward the end of last season, but discontinued it after Carey’s legal troubles started. Seven games into the year, Arizona brought it back.
Prior to this season head coach Rich Rodriguez was noticeably wary about putting Carey on a pedestal and promoting the junior running back. But after getting back onto the coaches’ good side, Rodriguez said he felt more comfortable about reintroducing the hashtag.
“I didn’t want to change his schedule,” Rodriguez said Monday. “I didn’t want him to have two-hour interviews every day and not being focused on what he needs to be focused on. If we think it gets over the top then we’ll shut it down.”
Rodriguez said he doesn’t think the hashtag is a big deal and a talented player such as Carey will get the attention and awards that he deserves, whether or not the athletic department decides to promote him. And Carey isn’t Rodriguez’s first talented football player.
“I think I’ve had a 1,000 yard rusher pretty much every year,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes two.”
That being said, Rodriguez complimented Carey’s improved maturity over the past year.
“I think he’s been a great example for how to approach the game of football and how we want our program,” Rodriguez said. “He deserves it and I hope he keeps running hard and plays another year for the Arizona Wildcats.”
Rodriguez even said that he believes fatherhood has helped Carey mature, as he became a dad over the summer.
“It’s forced him to grow up,” Rodriguez said. “I think it’s helped him and some of the other [fathers on the team] focus. But more than anything Ka’Deem is a good guy who is in certain spotlight and a certain time in his life when he had to make sure everyone saw the real Ka’Deem.”
Rodriguez said a lot of credit needs to be given to Carey’s family as well as associate head coach/co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Calvin Magee for helping mentor Carey.
The Carey page can be found on the athletic department website. On the right side of the site, there is a red box with “25 #TeamKaDeem,” linking to it, on no matter what page on arizonawildcats.com that is visited. The #TeamKaDeem site has up to date stats with links to articles and videos about Carey from a variety of media outlets around the country.
—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella