Bandit Gaines Adams
Fork Union Prep
Adams came to Clemson from Fork Union Prep, where he recorded 58 tackles and 22 sacks in 10 games during his last season there. He also was athletic enough to play wide receiver, registering more than 1,300 yards receiving. As a redshirt freshman in 2003, Adams recorded 15 total tackles, including 4 for loss, and 1 sack. Last year, he registered 346 total plays, producing 35 total tackles to go along with eight tackles for loss and five sacks.
Adams enters fall practice as the starting "Bandit" in first-year defensive coordinator Vic Koenning's new scheme. With that title, he'll be required to handle linebacker duties on occasion and drop back into coverage. After a strong spring, many feel that this could be Adams' coming out party.
Adams, a redshirt junior, is currently listed as the starting bandit ahead of redshirt freshman Cortney Vincent and true freshman Elsmore Gabriel.
Adams doubled his playing time from two years ago in 2004. Last year, he registered 346 total plays, producing 35 total tackles including eight tackles for loss and five sacks.
"Being it's a new scheme, it takes time to get to know the system, but after going through the spring, I can say we are really catching on to the defense pretty well," Adams told CUTigers.com in a recent interview. "He wants everyone hustling to the ball, if someone makes a good play; he wants the team to congratulate him. He just wants the defense to become one, because that's the only way we're going to win."
Here's something you don't hear everyday: Adams recorded two safeties in one scrimmage a year ago. He also led the defense in tackles for loss and sacks during all scrimmages for entire spring of 2003.
As far as the difference between being a bandit and a true defensive end, Adams says the change should allow him to make more plays this season. "It feels great. It frees me up a lot. I don't have that many blockers on me. It's a position for a quick agile person, and I think I fit it pretty good," Adams said after the Orange & White game.
At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Gaines Adams is a player extremely high thought of by the Clemson coaching staff, and throughout spring practice he always seemed to be around the football. Whether it was a tipped pass, an interception, a quarterback pressure, or a sack, Adams is clearly developing outstanding instincts on the football field. The one area that he must improve on however is the weight room. Adams possesses the size and the quickness to make it to the next level, but he must improve his upper body strength.