Adams to Return

CLEMSON – As Gaines Adams entered the media room in Littlejohn Coliseum, he removed his jacket to reveal a white, short-sleeved, collared shirt with a big tiger paw over the right breast. It was evident from that moment where he was going to play his football next season.

Adams, a junior Bandit defensive end, then stepped to the podium and surprised no one when he announced that he was going to stay at Clemson for his final season and not declare himself for the NFL Draft.

In the end, Adams said it was his desire to graduate next December and the meeting he had with head coach Tommy Bowden on Thursday and ultimately caused him to change his mind and stay for his final season.

"There were plenty of (sleepless) nights," he said. "It was a tough decision. … There were plenty of nights when I said this is a done deal, I'm going to the NFL. But I think I made the right decision and I hope everything works out."

Adams said what made him go from being certain he was staying to wanting to go pro was what he saw on A mock draft had him being selected in the first round.

However, several NFL personnel had Adams pegged to go either in the third or fourth round. The conflicting information he got could be confusing to anyone.

"I was looking at that and was like, if Mel Kiper here, I'm going there," Adams said. "I'm glad that he's got me there and I hope that he has me there next year, or higher. …

"It gets you excited."

In the end, however, he took the advice from those in the NFL and opted to stay.

"There was pressure because I didn't want to make the wrong decision," Adams said. "If I made the decision to leave and went in the third or fourth round, I would have been selling myself short and I couldn't live with that."

And now that he's back, the Tigers look to be solid up front on each side of the ball.

"I think we're going to be unbelievable next year," Adams said. "I think we've got a chance to win the ACC Championship. We've got the whole starting offensive line coming back and the majority of the defensive line coming back and that's where you win championships." Top Stories