Jamal Adams (Photo by the author).
A top defensive back in the state of Texas stands out due to his vocal nature on the field.
One of the top defensive backs in the state, 2014 Lewisville (TX) Hebron safety Jamal Adams is hard to miss on the field -- he's the one always encouraging his teammates, making sure that they're lined up in the right position, coaching on the field.
It was Adams who was the focal point in keeping his teammates from letting a game against Tyler (TX) John Tyler at the Fox Sports Southwest 7-on-7 State Championship slip away after falling behind 34-17. The Hawks rallied for a late victory, led by the vocal defender.
The 6-0, 185-pounder said that the key in coming out with the win was "Just hard work." Adams emphasized that "we came down prepared, stayed communicative, talking every time. We don't get down on each other -- that's one thing about our team, we don't ever get down on each leader."
Even though he's just now entering his junior season, the leadership skills from Adams are extraordinarily evident. His father George -- a former first-round pick by the Giants at running back in the mid-1980s -- is a vocal dude, but his son often drowns him out on the field. It's no coincidence, though, that Jamal ended up this way.
"I've just always been raised up to be the leader, just always do what I do on the field. No talk, I just give it my all on every play," the younger Adams declared.
The constant chatter with his teammates on the field raises an interesting question, though. Is Adams like that off the field, as well?
"I'm quiet at home," the rising safety said with a laugh. "At school I'm quiet. I'm a whole different human on the football field."
Indeed. Unleash the leader.
In terms of the recruiting process, Adams had just gotten back from a visit to Alabama before he made his way to College Station for the final high school 7-on-7 event of the summer.
"[The visit] went well. Oh, man. It's beautiful out there, they take care of the academics as well, the coaching staff is great, and they produce championships," he noted about Tuscaloosa.
After winning a second national championship in three seasons, the cachet of playing for the Crimson Tide has never been higher, especially with larger-than-life coach Nick Saban, who may be the most revered head man in the game right now. At the same event, Fort Worth (TX) All Saints offensive tackle Demetrius Knox still seemed in awe of talking to Saban and receiving his offer, even though the conversation had happened some months prior.
"Man, it was great," Adams said of his opportunity to talk with the 'Bama head coach. "It was an honor because he is one of the top coaches in the NCAA. I really respect that about him."
The Tide haven't yet offered and apparently want to see Adams play his junior season before extending an offer, but the Hebron product did categorize the staff's interest in him as "high."
Another visit Adams made during the summer was to the June 10th Texas camp.
"Oh, the camp went well." Adams said of the experience. "I went down there with my quarterback and a couple of my buddies. We did real well. They like me, they're interested. I talked to coach Brown and coach Akina -- they're a real good coaching staff."
Position coach Duane Akina is known for preferring hybrid defensive backs in the mold of Michael Huff, Cedric Griffin, and Earl Thomas, among others. The versatility that Adams displays on the field may be a big reason why Akina gave the green light on an offer for the Hebron product.
"They like me at both safety and cornerback -- that's what they like the most, the fact that I can play both positions for them. I can play hybrid, all that."
The visit helped position the Longhorns well moving forward.
"They stand real high for me. I like the academics -- that's my number one thing for me. I like it all."
Really, though, Adams is still incredibly open-minded with the process in the early going, even showing some perspective on how far his recruitment is already ahead of most prospects in his class.
"I like Texas and I like Alabama and all the schools that have offered me right now. I'm just blessed to get offers because some of these kids don't have offers right now," Adams said.
Any schools standing out?
"I like them all -- West Virginia, Kentucky, Notre Dame, all of them. I like them all, they just show me so much love."
Since it is still at an early stage, a lot of players can get wrapped up in wanting to feel some love from one of their favorite schools that hasn't offered, something that doesn't cross the mind of the versatile defender.
"I'm not really worried about that right now because I know I have a long recruiting process. I'm about to be a junior, so there's no reason to stress about offers."
As mentioned above, one offer Adams did pick up recently was one from Texas last Thursday when the mass of 2014 official offers went out unexpectedly. Following that offer, Adams confirmed to SB Nation Recruiting that he is planning on making it to Austin on Saturday and that the Longhorns are "high on my list."
According to his father, a jaunt up to Norman on Wednesday that produced an offer from the Sooners for Adams was a visit they liked a lot. It was a trip taken days before Texas has a chance to make another impression this weekend.
As far as those Longhorn fans hoping for a possible commitment on Saturday, Adams said back in College Station that he would like to make a decision at one of the All-American bowls following his senior season. Which one? Well, Adams hasn't received any invites yet, but it's only a matter of time before he does.
For more on OU football, visit Oklahoma blog Crimson And Cream Machine.