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Arizona's Carey has overcome off-the-field issues for strong season

Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey (25) runs around the right side against Oregon for a short gain in the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/John MIller)

Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey is having a special season, and while it might be expected due to his All-American play last year, his offseason troubles put doubts in some people's minds regarding the junior's maturity.

In December 2012, Carey was charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct due to a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend. Then in January, Carey was removed from an Arizona basketball game after a run-in with a McKale Center security guard. As a result of the first issue, Carey was suspended for the first game and a half of the 2013 season.

Despite the off-the-field issues, Carey has been able to overcome those struggles and Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne attributed his turnaround to his character.

"One of the things about Ka'Deem is he'll listen to you, and he'll give you feedback," Byrne told Arizona Sports 620's Bickley Show on Wednesday.

"He has so much going for him," Byrne added. "He's got a smile and a personality that's contagious. If he does well on the football field at the next level, he's going to have a lot of opportunities to better himself and better his family, both on and off the field."

Carey, who played his high school ball at Canyon Del Oro High School in Tucson, can leave for the NFL Draft following this season. Byrne said his program's job is to prepare Carey for life in the NFL.

"We want to make sure he's in a position to capitalize on that and have the most success that he can," Byrne added. "He understands he has a great opportunity ahead of him, and he's done a gone job doing everything we've asked him to do and obviously I think the future for him is very bright."

On the season, Carey has 1559 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground. On Monday, he was named a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, which is given each year to the country's top collegiate running back.

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