Adams Not Pressured to Choose Hometown School

Granted, some of Corey Adams's family and friends were yearning for him to stay in his own backyard and play for the Sun Devils. Yet, they wisely didn't try to aggressively steer the defensive tackle to Tempe, and rather let him make up his mind on his own timetable. Ultimately, the state's best 2009 prospect settled on ASU thanks to the approach those around him took concerning his recruitment.

"That's what really helped me make my decision in the end," Corey Adams admitted, "knowing that my family was going to support me no matter what."

Down the stretch the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro defensive tackle, narrowed his choices to Arizona State, USC and Ohio State. Adams claimed that he wasn't set to commit to the Sun Devils until very close to the date he announced.

"I had high interest in the schools I turned down," Adams said. "I went with the process and looked at the pluses and minuses all schools had. In the end, ASU was just the best fit."

Even though his two close friends, Max Smith and Kody Koebensky, already pledged to the maroon and gold, Adams didn't feel pressured by that tandem to join them. Additionally, he commented that playing with his former Sabercats teammates wasn't necessarily a significant factor in his resolution.

"The possibility of playing with them was always a plus when I was thinking about my decision," Adams remarked, "but it was never the main reason. My thought process was always about me and not just who I will be playing with.

"They are my best friends, my brothers, and obviously it's cool that we will be playing together again for the next four years. But because it was about my future, I had to decide what was best for me and where I will fit in."

Former ASU defensive end coach Kyle Caldwell, was Adams' position coach during his senior year. Adams appreciated the fact that Caldwell, much like anyone else close to him, never thickly laid the Sun Devil selling points upon him.

"He knew that as a coach it was always first and foremost about Saguaro football," Adams said of Caldwell. "He never pushed me to go to ASU. He told me that he was more than happy to provide information about the recruiting process, not just about ASU.

"He was very cool about everything and never gave one-sided information."

Adams understood early on that the Sun Devils were intent on keeping the elite local talent in the Phoenix area from going elsewhere. Being in close proximity to the program allowed the defensive tackle and other local prospects to gain intimate knowledge of the team, and realize that a 5-7 record last year was perhaps a necessary evil when establishing a program.

"Coach Erickson knows how to build programs up," said Adams of the Sun Devil skipper. "You can tell by all the good players he brought in my recruiting class. I'm looking forward to playing with the players in my class ,and those that will come in the classes ahead of me, so we can bring ASU to where it was before."

Even though he grew up a Sun Devil fan and already saw the school's athletic facilities several years ago, it was not obvious to Adams that he was going to pledge to the hometown school. Playing out of state was never ruled out.

The defensive tackle's father's family is from Ohio and that helped the Buckeyes remain strong in the recruiting picture until Adams' eventual commitment.

"Just like I was watching a lot of ASU games when I was younger, I became a fan by default of Ohio State because their games were always on in our house," Adams explained. "I did get to learn about that school early on."

Even though Adams had all those ties to the Buckeyes, they didn't have an advantage over the third school in the mix – USC.

"It's a different lifestyle over there (at USC) and I think I might have been caught up in it," Adams stated. "Ohio State – it came down to distance. I'm not sure how I would have reacted playing so far away from home."

Adams is joining an ASU defense that showed much promise in the second half of a trying 2008 campaign. The potential that this side of the ball packs, excites Adams as he about to begin his college career.

"You could tell last year that it was a good defense and it was always trying to get the other side of the ball going," He said. "They battled through a lot and still played well. I'm really looking forward to playing on that group."

The defensive tackle was recruited from day one by his ASU position coach, Grady Stretz, who he obviously came to appreciate and build a relationship over time.

"Going into my junior year I met coach Stretz for the first time," Adams recalled. "I thought he was a really cool guy. He's a very personable guy but at the same time you can tell he's a coach that doesn't mess around.

"I'm really looking forward to being coached by him and learning from him. During the recruitment process he always told me how much he was looking forward to coaching me and making me a better player."

Adams is rated as a five-star prospect by Scout.com and was ranked as the 46th overall recruit in the nation. He was one of the leaders on Saguaro's three-time 4A-I state championship squads. He collected 240 tackles and 34 quarterback sacks during his three-year prep career, and totaled 71 tackles and five quarterback sacks as a senior.

"I want to work on my speed," Adams said of his skills. "I have been doing some speed training the last couple of weeks. I want get stronger, be more explosive…really just improve on everything so I can make that transition to college. Any strength that I had in high school won't be good enough for college. So I need to get better at everything."

One program that has been able to help him and many of his Sabercats' teammates, was an off-season voluntary strength program conducted by Saguaro offensive line coach Chris Chick. Adams is one of many Sabercats that has been able to reap noticeable dividends from this training regimen.

"Coming into high school I was 260 lbs.," Adams recalled, "but it wasn't good weight. As I gained weight I improved my body mass. My freshman year I had trouble just benching the bar, and a couple weeks ago I benched 425. I had to put in a lot work, and I improved all the time."

Dealing with success is a challenge that even lesser ranked prospects than Adams have to contend with. Despite the fact that he was a highly pursued prospect who enjoyed phenomenal success in high school, staying grounded wasn't practically hard for the defensive tackle.

"Ever since I was little cockiness was never a trait of mine and I never liked cocky people," Adams explained. "My parents told me that I need to reach a level of confidence and have some swagger, but not be cocky. So I always try to be level headed. If there ever was a moment where I was cocky, and I don't think there ever was, my parents would bring me down right down a couple of blocks.

"I always have been very respectable with everything that has come my way. I realize that a lot of (my success) is my work, but at the same time I wouldn't be where I am without a lot of people who had helped me and I was fortunate to have them."

His accolades have naturally created the expectation that Adams is not only a shoe-in not to redshirt, but that he is also a strong possibility to being named starter in the season opener.

"I really hope to play," Adams said unassumingly. "More than anything I really want to show what I can do. I don't want to be the freshman who everyone looks at wondering how he could be so good in high school and now (in college) he can't do anything. That's nerve-racking trying to prove yourself, but at the same time it's something I'm looking forward to.

"Just like high school, for me it's all about improving and playing at a higher level."

Introducing Corey Adams

High School

Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro

Position

Defensive Tackle

Height

6-3

Weight

309

Date of birth

10/26/1990

Birthplace

Phoenix, Ariz.

Nickname

"Nothing that can be printed (laughs)."

Favorite TV show

"South Park and The Chappelle Show."

Favorite movie

"Anchorman."

Favorite singer/band

"I like all genres of music. My favorite rapper is Nas and my favorite rock band is Emmure."

Favorite food

"Steak."

Favorite drink

"Water."

Favorite athlete

"Michael Strahan."

Favorite pro team

"Chicago Bears and Dallas Mavericks."

Person you most admire

"My parents. They put up with me on a day to day basis and that in itself is a job. They supported me any way possible in good and bad times."

First football memory

"Beating Kody Koebensky's team in a Boys' and Girls' Club football game in the eighth grade. Me and Max Smith were on the same team and we were ‘high-lowing' the quarterbacks."

One thing most people don't know about me

"My sense of humor. A lot of people judge a book by its cover and if they only knew the stuff I do they'd be surprised."

Why did you choose ASU?

"The coaches. I believe in their coaching abilities and I look forward to not only working with them to improve my game, but also ASU football."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"My dream would be playing in the NFL and getting paid millions for playing a sport a few months. If that doesn't work out I'd like to work in the accounting field."


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