A 5-Star Debut For Auburn Freshman Lineman

Montravius Adams stepped up with a strong effort at defensive tackle on opening night.

Auburn, Ala.--It didn't take newcomer Montravius Adams long to make his presence felt as a college football player on Saturday night.

Taking the field for the first time with 6:06 left in the second quarter and Auburn leading Washington State 22-21, the defensive tackle's first collegiate play was a sack on quarterback Connor Halliday.

"That felt good," the freshman said. "Coach G (Rodney Garner) had just gone over things with me and he told me to protect my legs. I did exactly what he said and I made the tackle."

The good start by Adams led to more playing time for the five-star recruit from Dooly County High School in Vienna, Ga. Although he was only credited with two tackles, his inside pressure on the Cougars' offense helped limit Washington State to three points in the second half as Auburn took a 31-24 victory.

"I had a lot of fun playing with this new team, this new family and being with the new coaches," Adams said. "It was very exciting being out there for my first college game. Just seeing all of those fans was great."

Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said the play of Adams was a pleasant surprise in the opener.

"He has really struggled at times in practice getting lined up, busted assignments and mental errors, but when you have a game plan you take a lot of stuff in but as the first or second quarter ends you sort of settle in to what you know you have got to play," Johnson pointed out.

"As it got thinned down a little bit and simplified and Rodney (Garner) was able to play those young freshmen quite a bit, I just thought he played outstanding for the first time ever in a college football game.

"He probably showed up as much as anybody on that whole front disruption in the running game and pressure on the quarterback," Johnson added.

Adams gave the Tigers a push in the middle of the defensive front vs. Washington State.

Junior defensive end LaDarius Owns said he was impressed, and surprised, with how Adams performed on opening night.

"The first play he got in the backfield I looked at somebody and I said, ‘He is a player under the lights, he is a game-time player.' That is what I saw.

"Hopefully, we can get him to show that more at practice so he can build on that and can be even better of a game player. Hopefully, he will continue to improve in his maturity and experience so hopefully he will come along later in the season as well."

Adams said going into the opener he had a good idea that he would see playing time, but noted that Garner didn't give him any hints about how much action he would see. "I really didn't know," he said.

Asked how he thought he performed vs. the Cougars, the freshman said, "I feel like I did pretty good. I know that me, and the team, we still have plenty of stuff to work on. I didn't play great. As a team we did pretty good--we came out with a win."

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