"Coming out of my surgery I woke up and felt fine," Adams recalled, "but it was a solid two months of straight therapy. I was kind of iffy about everything at first and then everything just started warming up at me and I'm feeling a lot more comfortable out there."
When the disk in his back "popped" last fall he did receive a cortisone shot, but hasn't repeated that treatment ever since.
"Just doing a lot of stretching, using a heat packs," Adams said. "I haven't really been taking even any Ibuprofen."
Adams and those close to him didn't expect him to do much coming into spring practice. Yet, his hard work rehabbing the injury and conditioning his body caught up with him in a very positive way. His workload in spring practice continued to increase every day.
"We've continued to push, do more and more as the weeks go on," Adams commented. "I'm doing what I can out here and I know I will be full go by (the beginning) season. I'm trying to get as many reps as possible, having coaches and teammates pushing me.
"I feel real comfortable, everyone is very understanding of the situation and everybody has been helping me along. So I do what I got to do."
The local defensive tackle out of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, was one of the most coveted prospects in his position. He was regarded as a five-star prospect by Scout.com, and listed by the recruiting service as the No. 46 overall recruit in the country and the nation's No. 8 defensive tackle prospect in the 2009 class. He was one of the leaders on Saguaro's three-time 4A-I state championship squads from 2006-08.
As the case with many local prospects, Adams chose the hometown school to be close to his family and friends. He acknowledged that staying in very familiar surroundings helped him immensely during his journey to recovery.
"I had my family 15 minutes away and anytime things got too rough here in Tempe I just hopped on the 101 and just chilled out," Adams said. "That helped a lot I think with my recovery. Just having that family presence there. But my teammates and coaches helped out too in the fall when I got hurt and in the winter workouts."
In the third week of spring practice, and perhaps as expected after a period of offensive domination, the Arizona State defense bounced back to disrupt the offense. In the last scrimmage, the defense played the most physical it has ever had all of spring and was able to disrupt a good portion of the offensive plays.
"We're excited just coming back from our success last year," Adams said. "We played well but we think we can do a lot better. That's what we're pushing to do. We grind it out during the week and we try to come out there (in the scrimmage) and just lay it all on the line.
"Our offense got their confidence going but we want to let them know that we are still the same defense (from last year) if not better."
Adams confessed that compared to previous weeks the running game saw much success in the last scrimmage.
"It's spring ball and things are going to change," Adams explained. "They are going to put in new stuff that we haven't seen before. That just comes with the territory and we're not too worried about it."
In eight games last year Adams saw limited action early in the campaign. Unfortunately, when the true freshman had just started to become more of a contributor that's when the defensive tackle succumbed to his ailing back. That injury, coupled with great depth at his position has naturally made Adams' fight to make his mark a challenging one.
"There's great competition and I think that's a good thing," Adams claimed. "Especially when we are all good friends and we all hang out off the field. I think that the competition is very healthy for the team and at the defensive end position there's competition there too. It just lets us push each other that much more in practice and see who can get that spot."
With one week left in spring practice, Adams is pragmatic concerning his aspirations for his personal goals.
"I just want to get better," Adams said. "Get my back better first and foremost, getting back the fundamentals I had in the fall and get rid of the bad habits. I didn't get to finish my season and it was unfortunate. But that's the name of the game and I'll keep on improving on everything I can."