Coming out of high school in Enterprise, Ala., Ken Adams had his sights set on Auburn, a university that gave him the ability to stay home for college and play in front of family.
After two seasons spent at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Adams picked up a couple more offers – one of which pushed him in a new direction.
On Nov. 1, shortly after the Tennessee staff extended a scholarship, Adams jumped on board with the Volunteers as a tight end prospect.
Yet, an unforeseen change to the Tennessee coaching staff has the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Adams thinking about other schools once more.
And, this time, LSU is in the thick of the discussion.
Frank Wilson, LSU’s new running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, had recruited Adams to Tennessee, and eventually helped push the three-star prospect into his decision.
With Wilson now in Baton Rouge, and selling the Tiger program, Adams likes what he hears.
“Coach Wilson is one of those guys who I love because he has always been straight with me,” Adams said. “When he got down to LSU, he immediately called me up and told me it was a move that he had wanted to make because, being a New Orleans native, it gave him the chance to come home and recruit his state.
“He never talked down on Tennessee or any other school, and that was big time,” he added. “He said he just wanted me to make the best move for me, and that LSU could really use my help on the defensive line.”
After a couple of conversations last week, Wilson was able to talk Adams into a visit to Baton Rouge, impressive work given that the Copiah-Lincoln standout had once said he would make his decision last week.
With the LSU trip also came an offer, which Adams said has his mind racing in terms of making a decision on his future.
“Coach [Les] Miles pulled me into his office and we just sat and talked for a good while, and that was really nice,” he said. “He told me that I had an offer to join the 2010 class, and he let me know that the team needed me to join on.
“When I sat in that room with him, I definitely felt like a big-time priority.”
Due to delays at the airport, Adams was unable to get to campus for his official visit until late Saturday morning.
“Since I was already behind on schedule, the coaches took me straight to the academic tour, where I saw the COX Center and all that stuff,” he said. “It was pretty amazing. The classrooms were huge and everything was top notch.”
From there, the Enterprise, Ala. native was taken on a tour of the football facilities by defensive line coach Brick Haley – a time spent catching up on both football and old friends.
“The one thing I didn’t know was that coach Haley is from Enterprise, and that hit home with me,” Adams said. “He said he moved off in 1989, but he started dropping some names and I knew everyone he talked about. It was pretty cool for us to connect on that level.”
Haley then allowed Adams to sit in on Saturday’s bowl practice, a time spent talking with Tiger players as well as getting a feel for the size and speed of the Southeastern Conference.
“I stood on the sidelines and hung with all the defensive linemen every time they came off the field, and it was impressive how big and physical they were,” Adams said. “It let me know that I need to hit the weight room quick.
“My host was Chancey Aghayare, another defensive end who was really chill,” he added. “He had everyone telling me that they needed help because numbers were shallow, and they all said that I would fit right in with them.”
Haley, who is in his first season as the Tiger defensive line coach, wrapped the visit up with some additional one-on-one time alongside Adams.
“Coach Haley really stressed the need for a rush end that has experience,” he said. “Being a two-year JUCO guy, he said that I could come in and play right away.
“He was pretty serious about wanting me to be a part of the team. I could sense it.”
As recruitment hits a dead period on Sunday evening, the work of Wilson, Miles and Haley is behind them.
All that remains is a decision.
“Being a December graduate, I am ready to sign the papers and then enroll,” Adams said. “I am going to think things over, talk with my family and then see where I stand. It should happen soon.
“I just want to make sure that I am making the right decision.”
A current Tennessee commitment, Adams has made official visits to North Carolina and Auburn this season.