INDIANAPOLIS - There's not a lot to do in Tucson, Ariz., according to Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey.
He likes to go on hikes and spend time outdoors in the Arizona heat, where he spent most of his childhood growing up. But mostly, he enjoyed being in the small class setting he was often provided with at the University of Arizona.
"They're little classes," Carey said on Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "You get into little circles, it's like therapy. We get up there and we just talk and talk about our life. And that's where I got real confident and start being myself."
Carey wasn't shy about his confidence on Friday. The first question he was asked when he stepped up to the podium was who he resembles as a running back.
"I would say a mix between Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy," Carey said. "Definitely a mix between the two. Adrian Peterson runs hard and Lesean McCoy, he has the shakes in the open field to break the safety down."
That's a lofty comparison for himself, but Carey did rush for more than 3,800 yards and 42 touchdowns in his final two seasons at Arizona. Carey said he would have left last year if it weren't for rules requiring him to be in school for three years before turning pro.
Now he feels likes he's entering the league at a weird time. Six or seven years ago, running backs were frequently high picks. Running backs have lost value in recent years, though, and Carey feels a bit cheated.
"Tell me about it," Carey said with a laugh. "I've seen Reggie Bush, I'm seeing all these boys going first pick. I'm like, 'OK, that's exactly what I can do and that's what I'm going to do.' Next thing you know I get nowadays and they're like, 'Wait, you have to go second or third round.' Why didn't y'all tell me this a couple years ago that running backs were going extinct? I'm definitely OK with it, and I'm just trying to bring it back and show that we're definitely valuable. But I definitely would have went to corner or something."
Carey also thinks he went unnoticed a bit because he played on the West Coast and Arizona wasn't often on national television.
"East Coast bias," Carey said. "I'm sorry everybody, but you guys are sleeping on us, literally asleep at the time that we're playing. I don't blame you. I'd be asleep, too. I like my sleep."
Speaking of sleep, Carey hasn't been able to get much of it in Indianapolis. He traveled to the combine from San Diego, where he has been training, and the time change has hit him pretty hard.
"It's two hours behind, so right now I'm running off of no sleep," Carey said. "It's crazy that time changes like that."
Most players spend the weekend in Indianapolis stressing out. The lack of sleep, constant interviews and high-pressure workouts are enough to make even the most carefree player seem on edge. Not Carey, though.
"I'm enjoying this," Carey said. "I get to speak to the coaches and they get to know my personality."
After all, Carey is just following his mother's advice.
"Walk around with a big smile and be happy each day."