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May 9, 2014

Carey 'hungry' after slipping to Day 3 of NFL draft

It was often said throughout the final two years of his career at Arizona that Ka'Deem Carey is a better running back when he's angry.

Falling to the third day of the NFL draft is now something the Tucson native can store in his memory bank.

"A long night, but a great night. Still waiting to be on a team, still just anxious," Carey said despite watching the second and third rounds go by Friday at the Fox and Hound Bar and Grill, running the total to 100 draftees without hearing his name called.

"Of course, it's hard. You've got to be patient. Nobody (around him) has been through this experience. You don't know what to expect."

In fact, there wasn't a single running back selected among the first 53 picks, marking the first time the position has not been represented among the top 40. But by the end of the night, eight other running backs had been taken off the board.

Running backs taken ahead of Carey, in order, were: Washington's Bishop Sankey (54th overall to the Tennessee Titans), LSU's Jeremy Hill (55th to the Cincinnati Bengals) and Ohio State's Carlos Hyde (57th to the San Francisco 49ers) in the second round; and West Virginia's Charles Sims (69th to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Auburn's Tre Mason (75th to the St. Louis Rams), Towson's Terrance West (94th to the Cleveland Browns), Georgia Southern's Jerick McKinnon (96th to the Minnesota Vikings) and Kent State's Dri Archer (97th to the Pittsburgh Steelers) in the third round.

Four rounds remain and the process starts all over again Saturday morning.

Carey said watching the names ahead of him provides the same motivation he took with him across the city to Arizona as a freshman in 2011.

"Motivation that took me and put me in the spot that I am today," he added. "I like to prove people wrong and I've got a lot to do."

The Pac-12 Conference's player of the year ran for 1,885 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior last season, and the previous year Carey led the nation in rushing. Throughout the draft process, the program's all-time leading rusher said teams would be better served to turn on his game film instead of heavily weigh any evaluations off draft combine and pro day measurements like his 40-yard dash time.

Meanwhile, virtual unknowns like Archer, who doubles as a receiver, put his speed on display with the fastest 40 time (4.26 seconds) at the combine to shoot up the draft board.

The result did not discourage Carey, who flashed his smile and said the night will only make him "hungry."

"(Head coach Rich Rodriguez) said I always run hungry," Carey said. "We'll see why."

Without naming the teams, he added that there are "three or four" possible destinations he is tracking, watching each draft move. But, most importantly, the proper fit takes priority over draft position in his mind.

"They're making moves, so I'm like, 'God, make a move on me now!'" Carey said.

"Now you look for what could fit me best. What's better for me? Can I get with a good quarterback? ... That's what I'm looking for because I know wherever I land, I'm going to take off."

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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