April 3, 2007

Major recruiting target visits CU Tuesday

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One of the nation's fastest recruits spent the entire day in Clemson. Spencer Adams, a 6-foot-2, 174-pound burner out of Matthews (NC) Butler, took an unofficial visit to Clemson on Tuesday.

How did the trip go for the high-profile safety prospect and what went on during his visit?

"Yeah man, it was exciting and really fun," Adams told Tigerillustrated.com Tuesday evening. "We hit traffic but my mom, Linda, and I got in around 9:40 in the morning. We met up with (tight ends) coach (Billy) Napier. We went and saw the equipment room, all of the facilities and the locker room and how they are now."

Academics took precedent for the majority of the morning.

"They took us to Vickery Hall and I met with the academic advisor - he was really cool and super nice," the defensive back detailed. "I'm undecided right now about a major, but I'm thinking about Sports Management, Engineering or Computer Science."

Mother and son Adams and Napier then returned to the ever-improving football facilities at the West End Zone.

"First we hit up the practice field, then they told me that by the time I get there, if I commit there, that everything will be in the West End Zone then," he explained.

"The locker rooms are air-conditioned. They have new shoulder pads that have temperature gauges on them so you can regulate cold air into the pads. Man, a lot different than they are in high school."

"Coach (Napier) showed us the floor plan for how it will be when it's done - it's probably going to be the best in the country. The lockers are huge, you can sit in them with your pads on - it's crazy," Adams continued. "They have flat-screen TVs all over and the lockers have ventilators so your pads and uniforms will dry overnight. They've really stepped it up as far as facilities there."

Lunch was next.

"We went to Chili's and talked more about academics," the speedster indicated. "Just coach Napier, my mom and I. I really like coach Napier. He's really straight-forward. He told me how much playing time I'd get and didn't sugarcoat anything. He's cool, laid-back and not a salesman. He said how the town is, how things are done and if that's what I'm looking for, then great, but if not, then it's not the place for me. I liked that."

The afternoon brought a meeting with the Tiger boss.

"(Initially), we watched the highlight video in the team room then I met with coach (Tommy) Bowden and he's a really, really cool person," the burner expressed. "He's so smooth. He was saying that the size of their town really caters to you not getting into trouble. He also told me about their academic structure. Basically how structured their system is and how it would take a lot not to pass a class there."

The standout athlete then met with defensive coordinator Vic Koenning.

"Coach Vic went over coverages - cover 0, 2, 3, 4, 6 and we watched some game film," Adams noted. "Being there with him for a half hour I learned so much about coverages in college - just how the defensive line will pinch down so the ball flows to the safeties."

Adams said Koenning also made a positive impression on him.

"Coach Vic is laid-back as well. He doesn't sugarcoat things. But he tells you that if you do come here and do these things certainly good things will happen because he's seen it happen with so many other kids before, which I liked," Adams added. "Some (coaches) sugarcoat and tell you this and treat you like a superstar and then you get there and you are a regular freshman. I realized that through my brother (Drew Adams, cornerback, James Madison) and his recruitment."

The Tar Heel State talent, who also doubles as one of the South's premiere hurdles, checked out Clemson's track program.

"I'm serious about doing both in college," he admitted. "I met with their track coach (Bob Pollock) and he was a real cool dude. He was telling me how Jacoby Ford and C.J. Spiller do both and how their times have been incredible. He's a world class coach."

Adams said there is a familiar face in the Tiger track program.

"A guy I used to run against (sprinter Corey Brown) goes there. My mom used to call him nicknames back in the day like 'Stallion' cause he ran the curve so well and would eat people up there," said the Matthews product. "He's (at Clemson) now and was telling us how it's a great place to be and how their team really stuck together."

Does following in the footsteps of dual-sport talents like Ford and Spiller appeal to the Butler standout?

"Definitely, I'm looking for that," Adams entailed. "I can't put one (sport) above the other. I think if I put my heart into it, I can be successful at both. I see them doing that and playing both sports - I want to go to a school like that. I'm excited about that. Sometimes my track and football coach at my high school butt heads a little, but they get along great at Clemson. Football will make me stronger and faster and track will make me faster and stronger."

The safety then met with his recruiting coach again before he left in the late afternoon hours.

"Coach Napier was telling me how they want to bring in two safeties and that both of their safeties will be seniors next year," Adams said. "He wants a safety that can come down and hit and that's what I pride myself on. I played middle linebacker before high school and then everyone got bigger so I moved back to safety. I'm a run support safety, though."

Adams expanded on some distinct connections he could have one day in the future of the Tiger secondary as two of the program's future stars also come from North Carolina.

"Crezdon Butler set their freshman record for interceptions," the Charlotte-area defender pointed out. "Marcus Gilchrist from High Point is a top-notch player. I'm excited about that possibility, though right now I play in a secondary with Eddie Whitley and Robert Blanton (both Division 1 recruits), so I'm used to that and used to playing with that kind of talent."

Now that Adams, who unofficially visited Clemson last fall for the home game against South Carolina, has taken in both a game atmosphere and gotten to see everything else the university has to offer, what's the present appeal?

"Number one is the academic support system," he listed. "It's the best I've seen so far. They cater to you being successful, (focusing on) getting your degree, and then playing football. It's so structured for success. Secondly, their facilities are top-notch and with the West End Zone, it's crazy. They don't play around with how their players are treated. Lastly, I love their crowd. When I went to the game (against the Gamecocks) it was the loudest place I've ever been. The closest would be Blacksburg, but Clemson is by far the loudest."

The Tigers are on top right now for the future four-star rated Adams along with Michigan and North Carolina.

"That's my top three," the defensive back said. "Clemson has moved up a notch right now. They gave me something to compare (other schools) with. Those three are all even right now."

Adams, who has been to Ann Arbor, Chapel Hill and North Carolina State, will next travel to Mobile, Alabama later this week - during his spring break - for a big-time track event.

"It's Thursday night and it's my first night meet ever," the athlete detailed. "There are no trials, just straight to the finals and only eight people in each event. I'm running the 300-meter hurdles and the 100-meter hurdles. Then on April 14th I'll be at the Taco Bell Invite down in South Carolina which has tons of speed from Florida, Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas. I'm also going to the Rivals.com Junior Day at my school the next day on the 15th."

Adams was the talk of the recruiting circuit last Saturday as he ran 40-yard dashes of 4.27 and 4.21 seconds on his first two runs at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas combine, also held at Butler High School. His 4.21-time was the best of the day.

"I've been hovering around 4.3 for a while now," the burner detailed. "Three weeks ago I ran a 4.36 but it was in the cold. Saturday was a warm day and I ran a 4.3 in warm-ups so I knew it would be good. My brother ran a 4.29 last year so I knew I had to beat him, because you always want to beat your older brother. I ran a 4.17 my first time, and that's pretty wild for a junior in high school, then I ran a 4.21 which was a little more realistic."

Adams also has a 35.5 inch vertical jump and a 4.21-second pro shuttle time. He bench pressed 185-pounds six times.

As a junior, the coveted defensive back totaled 105 tackles, seven deflections, one sack and two interceptions.

He has run the 100-meter hurdles in 13.8 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 37.4 seconds. And he runs a 49-second split in the 4 x 400-meter relay.

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