Earning the chance to walk-on was a daunting task as well. Fearing estimated that approximately 150 students applied for the opportunity to tryout in front of the coaches, with about 10 of them getting that chance.
So for the next four months, Fearing was visiting the football office twice a week.
"I wanted to let them know I wasn't going anywhere and I wanted that opportunity," said Fearing.
The persistence finally paid off and when the Bearcats coaching staff held the walk-on workout, Fearing was one of the 10 selected. Four players, including Fearing, were selected to be members of the 2010 squad. Only the 5-9 Fearing remains on the team.
"I can't say enough about him," said head coach Butch Jones. "He started as a school start walk-on and he has earned everything he has received. He is the ultimate definition of a team player. He does everything you want and more. He means so much to our program. He has taken the most of his opportunity and is one of the most respected players we have in this program."
He quickly adored himself to the coaching staff, and three weeks into the season, Fearing was on the travel squad. After dressing for the first home game, he was selected to travel as the fourth string tailback and a back-up on special teams.
The trip left him with a new perspective.
"I was on the team in the spring, all through summer camp at Higher Ground and then (fall practice) and I really hadn't had that feeling I was on the team yet," he said. "I dressed for Indiana State, but I didn't get that feeling until we traveled to N.C. State. It was almost surreal. The year before, the Sugar Bowl year, I was sneaking into the Homecoming game because I didn't have a ticket. Just walking out there on a Thursday night in primetime on ESPN in front a crowd bigger than anything I had seen. That is when it hit me."
Two weeks later in the Bearcats' rout of Miami, the walk-on carried the ball twice for six yards. However, he knows 2011 is a new season, and nothing is guaranteed. In fact, Fearing doesn't set individual goals. His expectations and goals revolve around seeing the team win and reach a bowl game.
A scholarship could even be in his future.
"Time will tell," said Jones. "At some point, we like to reward are players if they hang tight, and he is in the running for that. The one word that describes Adam Fearing is consistent. You know what you are going to get from him, day in and day out."