Thursday, January 24, 2013
Offers rising for Adeosun, sleeper OL
By Kipp Adams
During an interview with George Adeosun (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta), a funny thing happened. It started out like any other, with the 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman giving his thoughts on his first two BCS offers -- Virginia and Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma is notable for its alumni association, and Virginia is well known for its academics,” Adeosun said.
But toward the end of his answer, a familiar sound occurred as a tweet was sent out. It was from his coach.
Adeosun was not near his computer, so as I read him the news of his two latest offers, his first from the SEC and Big Ten conferences and his third and fourth from BCS programs, the interview took an unexpected emotional turn.
“Wow. I am in tears right now. This is pitiful. My goodness ...” Adeosun said before breaking down.
If it seems as though his recruitment has taken off out of nowhere, it’s because it has.
‘Six months ago, I was on my bedroom floor crying because nothing was happening from a recruiting standpoint,” Adeosun said. “And we just prayed and prayed on it. Now it is just like the entire world has opened up.”
Raised by his father, a car salesman, and his two older sisters, Adeosun has long been a standout in the classroom. With a 93 average and a 31 ACT score, and the post of student body president as his coaches point out, Adeosun was set to take a different path after high school before a future on the gridiron took shape.
“My original plan was to go into corporate law after graduate school, make connections and just work,” Adeosun said. “But now as a result of hard work, I have a chance to play football as well.”
As a junior, Adeosun played on the junior varsity. But an injury on the varsity squad that season gave him a starting job against Milton, who featured five-star defensive end Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton). After holding his own against one of the best players in the country, Adeosun gained some confidence going into the summer.
Still, Adeosun attended only one non-college camp during the summer, which could have further delayed his recruitment.
“I kind of blame myself for the late start,” Adeosun said. “I was kind of short-sighted from a recruiting standpoint and I was focused on my academics, and not taking into consideration my own potential. Other people saw it in me, but I did not see it in myself.”
And just as Adeosun is beginning to realize his own potential, maybe the bigger picture is becoming clearer to others too.
Alpharetta assistant coach A.J. Merine says his lineman fell through the recruiting cracks with bigger schools early because he did not have a body of work. But smaller schools like Holy Cross and William & Mary got hold of film from the game against Milton right before Adeosun’s senior season started, and they had seen enough.
“George was just a late bloomer. He played JV for us last year, and he was just a big kid who did not know just how good he could be until this year,” Merine said. “He also handled Kelsey Griffin this year, the kid at Mill Creek going to South Carolina. He is just scratching the surface of how good he is as a player.”
Alpharetta assistant coach Rod Chance remembers the first time he laid eyes on Adeosun: the first day of school when he was in ninth grade.
“I see this huge kid going down a hallway during freshman activities, and I ran across the street to grab his attention,” Chance said. “I get to him and I ask him if he had ever played football, and he said he had not. He had played some soccer when he was younger, but what really caught me off guard was how articulate he was as such a young man.”
His development on the football field has come a long way during the last three years.
“When I first saw him put the equipment on, he had his knee pads up to his hips,” Chance said. “To see his growth as a person and a player has really been a joy. Hearing him voice where he is with the process today, that almost drew tears to my eyes to see how far he has come.”
Chance feels Adeosun has a bright future ahead, and some lucky program will benefit from his addition on and off the field.
"He is just a great young man and whatever institution he picks is going to get a kid that is just tapping into his potential, is going bring a lot of character to the locker room, boost the GPA of the team and set a great example for the other kids," Chance said. "I cannot say enough good things about George Adeosun."
Holy Cross came first with an offer during his senior season. Adeosun took an official visit but said he didn’t want to jump the gun and make any decisions because he felt like there was more to come.
Sure enough, William & Mary and Mercer came along. Coaches from Yale, John Hopkins, Howard and other top-tier academic schools were talking to Adeosun by the end of the season. The lineman committed to William & Mary in December, but is keeping his options open -- Adeosun admits that while academics hold immense value to him, he would love to get an offer from a program on the west coast such as Stanford, Cal or UCLA that he feels can offer a great education and a prominent football program.
Adeosun’s film was distributed by a scouting service at the American Football Coaches Convention during the first week of January. A few days later, Adeosun was approached in the cafeteria by his head coach, Jason Dukes, saying Virginia coaches Vincent Brown and Scott Wachenheim were looking to talk with him.
“Even then, I was numb and I almost dropped my food in the middle of the cafeteria," Adeosun said. "I knew something was going to happen from a recruiting aspect, I just did not expect it to happen so suddenly and for it to be so impactful. The Virginia offer was such a blessing and one I am very thankful for.”
Adeosun credits his teammates for pushing him to improve enough to gain the attention of major college programs.
“I never quit the play from whistle to whistle, because having a quarterback like Josh Dobbs, defensive players try to make it a point to get to him after the play to discourage him from making more plays,” Adeosun said. “Of course my job is to make sure that does not happen, so giving up before the whistle was not an option.”
Dobbs told Coach Chance late in the season during a game against Lovejoy that the one thing he was never worried about was pressure coming from Adeosun's side.
"He constantly improved throughout the season and had my back at right tackle," said Dobbs, an Arizona State commit. "He is a great teammate and an even better student."
Dobbs doesn't need to worry about Adeosun's future in football now either.
“I adapted to a setting where you cannot not give up, you just have to keep working,” Adeosun said. "In the end, it paid off.”
He took an official visit to check out the Cavaliers on Friday. The Sooners jumped into the mix Tuesday, setting up a visit for the next day.
“Today around 1:30, I sat down with Coach [Bruce] Kittle and we really hit it off. We had a great conversation about the school. I asked him questions about what Oklahoma could offer me after school, either from an alumni aspect or God-willing from an NFL aspect, and he basically told me that Oklahoma was everything I am looking for in a school and more. He then said he would call Coach [Bob] Stoops about me, have him look over my film one more time and then about 4:30, he called to tell me I had a full scholarship to Oklahoma.”
Adeosun had planned to take an official to check out the Sooners this weekend, but the news of possible offers has clouded the emerging offensive lineman's next step.
“It is a tough decision to make, but I know many kids would kill to be in this position, so I am going to take my time with this,” Adeosun said. “I plan to do my research, take a look at things objectively, sleep on it, talk to the coaches more and ask more questions, and sit down and make the best decision I can. I do not know what will happen next, so I am just going to leave everything up to God and keep working hard in the weight room and in the classroom.”
Not that Adeosun is complaining. As he came to grips with the possibility of playing major college football while getting an education paid for, the senior reflected on how thankful he was to be in this position. As far as what to expect on signing day, Adeosun is unsure. One thing he does know, he is as excited about his future as any five-star would be.
“It has been a blessing to be approached by so many great coaches offering so many great opportunities,” Adeosun said. "... I really want to rise up to the challenge and live up to it.”
And he'll rise to the challenge the in the same way he has to get him to this point. To take the words from his own "about me" on Facebook: “I try my best, and you should too.”