Montravius Adams (above) is one of the Tigers' most experienced players.
Hoover, Ala.--Senior defensive tackle Montravius Adams was one of three players selected to represent Auburn at the 2016 SEC Football Media Days on Monday, and the Vienna, Ga., native points out that the opportunity was a really big deal.
“I think this is the greatest thing that has happened to me so far in life,” says Adams. “I’m very thankful for it. I’m very happy Coach (Gus) Malzahn chose me to come to SEC Media Days and I just want to say thank you to him.”
When Adams and fellow D-lineman Carl Lawson decided to forego the NFL Draft and return for their 2016 seasons many were surprised. For Adams, however, the choice to stay was because he wants to finish his degree in interdisciplinary studies and make up for the struggles of the majority of the 2015 Auburn season when the Tigers finished with a 7-6 record.
“I think it was about two o’clock in the morning (when I made the decision to stay),” he recalls. “My mom was the last person I talked to and she said that I’m close to getting my degree so I decided to stay.
“How we finished the season, as a defensive lineman, I feel like we should take that and run with it. We want to be the best defensive line in the SEC and I feel like we are on track.”
When asked about how good the tandem of himself and a fully healthy Lawson could be, the senior’s eyes widened with excitement.
“We could be really good together,” Adams says. “Carl’s my boy. We’ve been together since the 11th grade at the junior bowl game. I just feel like now with us being older and being leaders, I just feel like we’re better players and we’re wiser to the game. We study film. We do a lot of stuff together and try to help the younger guys. Right now we are taking the right steps, and at the end of the day I feel like we can both be successful.”
Adams is also excited that his partner at defensive tackle is returning, too. Dontavius Russell is a player who “requires double teams,” according to Adams.
“Sometimes he gets some, sometimes I get some. At the end of the day I just feel like he is a great player.”
Adams says that he decided in the offseason that he wanted to drop weight heading into his final go-around of college football. It’s an option that hasn’t come without having to give up something in particular that he enjoys.
“I just wanted to play this season at a different level,” Adams says. “I wanted to play at around 290-295 so that’s been my goal and my plan for this year. I want to be a more explosive player. That just helps me come off the ball and use my hands. With me having more knowledge of the game I just feel like it will make me a better player.”
When asked what food he misses the most in his effort to cut back and lose weight, Adams’s answer was swift: “Rotel dip.”
Montravius Adams celebrates making a sack vs. Texas A&M.
The coaching shuffle on the defensive side of the ball hasn’t fazed Adams. “As players we know that coaches come and go either for good or for bad things,”?he points out. “At the end of the day the player has to be the best player he can be to keep that coach.”
Adams also points out that the differences between former coordinator and new head coach of South Carolina Will Muschamp and new the new defensive coordinator, Kevin Steele, aren’t all that significant.
“Really, it’s not too much of a difference,” Adams says. “The only difference (to me) is how they act. Coach Steele is a little more laid back and Coach Muschamp is a high motor guy.”
After his playing days are over at Auburn the defensive tackle will move on to NFL draft preparations where he will work towards becoming an early pick. However, he admits that he has got “a lot to work on” this fall.
“I need to play with more tenacity,” Adams says. “I need to be an angry player on the field. With my hands I should be a much more dangerous person.
“Learning with Coach (Rodney Garner), I have all of the capabilities to do what I want to do. I have trained with (former Florida State defensive back) Jalen Ramsey’s dad. We’re two friends that know each other from the past.”
The motto that the Tigers created for the 2016 campaign is “Earn It,” and the description that Adams wants to earn in his final season is “a dominating specimen.”