Adam Shada: A Study of Character

In covering recruiting for the better part of the last five years, I will admit that the question and answer sessions can get a bit stale. Asking players who their favorites are, when they are taking visits or what they like about particular schools is certainly information that fans want to know, but they don't let you get to know who the players are…who these people are. And then along comes a person like Adam Shada of Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraksa.

Shada committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes back in June of this year. The 6-1, 175-pound athlete was the quarterback for Millard North, an honor for a team that has had its share of great athletes under center, including former Cornhusker legend Eric Crouch.

Through the first seven games of his senior season, Shada told Hawkeye Nation magazine that he had gained more than 1,300 yards on 98 carries and had scored 21 touchdowns for the #1 rated team in Nebraska. It seemed that there was little that stood in the way of Shada and a state championship.

While his team may still win the state title, they learned a few weeks back that they would have to move on without their star quarterback as doctors discovered a blood clot in Adam's arm.

After surgery where doctors removed one of Shada's ribs, the future Hawkeye was obviously and expectedly depressed.

But that depression quickly gave way to thanks, as doctors told him that this was no run of the mill situation.

"That was a hard thing. They told me that it was a blood clot, your season is over, and we are not sure about your career." Shada said. "Then they threw the big one at me, telling me that some of the clot broke off into the lungs and it could be deadly."

"So at first, I was heartbroken that I could not play football and I love the game so much. But then I started to realize that football was just a game and there is a bigger picture and I forgot about football for a few weeks."

The ‘big picture' is not so easily grasped or seen by high school seniors, as we all feel a certain sense of invincibility when we are in our late teens. But many of us are not told that our lives are in danger, for real, by doctors.

And not many of us get an opportunity at such a young age to take a personal inventory of the blessings we have enjoyed and be thankful for the things that we take for granted the way that Adam Shada has had a chance to do over the past few weeks.

"My father and I were talking about that the other day when I got out of the hospital. We spoke with the doctors and they said that another surgery is possible, and I was kind of depressed about that. But my father mentioned the fact that my life has been pretty picture perfect. I have never gotten into any trouble, things have gone well on the football field, I have a 4.0 grade point average…and that life is not always going to be perfect and there will be obstacles." Shada said.

"The thing that my father has taught me that I will take with me to my grave is to keep life's problems in perspective. Things that are a big deal now might not be so big in the long run. Take what you can and worry about what you can control. We really can't control some of the things that happen to us in our life, but we can control our attitude and what we take away from it."

As you can tell after reading that, Shada has a solid perspective and great attitude on life these days, even though something very special and important to him has been taken away.

He told us that he intends on being ready to play football next fall at Iowa and do "whatever the team needs me to do."

Recent newspaper articles have documented the fact that Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa staff has been in communication with Adam and has assured him that there is a place for him at Iowa, no matter if he can or cannot play football again.

That meant a lot to Adam and his family and confirmed the reasons why he committed to the Hawkeye football program.

"That was awesome. The coaches at Iowa are class acts. That is one of the reasons that I committed so early to Iowa, because I was so impressed with the coaching staff. They are not just great coaches, but they are great people and they are the type of people that I want to spend my next four years with and learn from and become a better person because of them." Shada said.

In speaking with Adam for our upcoming feature in Hawkeye Nation the Magazine, we also learned about his character and the reason why Iowa offered him a scholarship this summer. The following comments illustrate the consummate team player. We asked Adam if he had any doubts shortly after the surgery and the medical news, if Iowa was going to honor their scholarship to him, something they had done with other players that had gotten injured after they had committed to Iowa, but something Adam might not have been aware of.

"I had mixed feelings about it because I obviously have a great interest in Iowa as a program now and I care about the well being of the program. I figured that they would honor the scholarship offer they gave to me, but I didn't know if I wanted to accept it (after the injury), and take a scholarship away that they might be able to give to another player that could help the program out." Shada said.

"I felt that maybe I could get an academic scholarship to Iowa because that is the school that I want to go to, but I didn't want to take a scholarship away from them if somehow I could not play football."

As for his position at Iowa, Shada has defense on his mind, specifically being out on that island at cornerback.

"I hope to play cornerback (at Iowa) because I love that position. I just love this game. However they want to use me, I just want to get on the field and help the team out."

Adam provided us more than four pages of quotes that will appear in the December issue of Hawkeye Nation magazine and they take you even deeper into the type of person that the Iowa Football program landed when Shada committed to Iowa back on June 27th. Stories like the one that you have just read are normally reserved for our website and magazine subscribers.

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