- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
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The 2014 Under Armour All-America Game will be remembered by what could have been for Les Miles and LSU. The Tigers had a chance to land five top-50 recruits and secure perhaps the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, but it didn’t go their way. They settled for two of the five, and if not for Leonard Fournette’s commitment late, it could’ve been devastating.
But let’s not forget about Jamal Adams, LSU’s other commitment that day. The Lewisville, Texas native, ranked No. 18 in the ESPN 300, has a chance to be the next great safety to come through Baton Rouge.
We caught up with Adams, who is scheduled to enroll next month, to see what he’s been up to and see what his goals are for this coming season.
What’s life been like since you signed with LSU?
Adams: Really, I’ve just been grinding. Trying to get better at everything I can do, study film, get to the freshman workouts that coach [Tommy] Moffitt gave to us. It’s great to be an LSU Tiger. There are LSU fans everywhere, especially in Texas. Life’s been great. LSU fans are treating me well, and I just can’t wait to get started.
I’m sure you tuned into the draft last weekend. How about LSU leading the way with nine draft picks?
Adams: NFLU. It is what it is. LSU is a great program that produces NFL talent in all areas, as well as turning young men into men. Coach Moffitt does a great job with that. It just speaks for itself with all the records.
Is there a former LSU player that you look up to or model your game after?
Adams: I definitely have a lot of people that I’ve seen play and I’d like to try and steal some of the things they do to help my game. Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, LaRon Landry — really those three guys on the back end that came through LSU, as well as Ryan Clark. I try to look at them and see how they play. Hopefully I can be one of the greats like them, if not even better.
What is it about all these LSU DBs that make them stand out?
Adams: Certain DBs put in the work and certain DBs don’t. Certain people have the natural [gift], but you still have to put in work and that’s just how it is. You’ve got to stay hungry and keep working on your craft every day. You can never be satisfied. I think really that’s the main thing that separates LSU DBs from the rest of the pack.
What was the recruiting process like for you? Did you enjoy it? Did it wear you down?
Adams: The process was good. It was just a grind. Not knowing what to do at times and just praying, thinking about where you want to go and what best fits you and what not. It wore me down toward the end. I was kind of ready to get it over with, and I’m glad I did. But I had no regrets about it.
What’s Les Miles like on the recruiting trail?
Adams: Coach Miles, he definitely tells you how it is. He’s a funny guy. I love Coach Miles. He tells you how it is, but he definitely wants the best out of you. I think a lot of people get the wrong impression of Coach Miles that he’s arrogant and what not, but I promise you he’s probably one of the most loving, family guys you can be around. He treats us with much love. He treats my family with much love.
Have any of the coaches talked to you about the potential to play early?
Adams: Most definitely. LSU’s been struggling in the back end for safeties. They’ve been inconsistent and what not. This class was a huge one so they could get some big-time safeties in. They said definitely I’m going to be [making] kickoff returns as a true freshman, and I’m going to play as well as the other freshmen that we have because we’ve got to step in right away and help the team out. But me starting, it’s up to me learning the playbook and hopefully they say by SEC play, I can be in there starting and fully loaded.
Q: What are your goals for your first year, both for you and the team?
Adams: The first goal is for the team and like everybody, it’s to win a national championship. I would love to do that. That would be a team goal, and I’m pretty sure that’s all of our goals. Individual goals, just getting my feet wet and getting smarter at the game. Getting my IQ up there and knowing everything and really just making plays for the team. I want to strive for extra goals like all these trophies and what not and be an SEC freshman All-American -- I would love that -- but definitely just learning everything and making plays for the team as much as I can.
4dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough