Adams Grows In Faith And Football
Safety Jamar Adams
Faith led Jamar Adams to the University of Michigan. So it should be no surprise that his faith, and goodwill, hasn't stopped guiding his life past his recruitment. "My decision [to come to Michigan] was kind of awkward; mine was really prayer. I prayed and God led me, and I truly believe that my spiritual life has grown since I have been here. With teammates like Jason Avant and other guys, I have the opportunity to grow spiritually here," said Adams at Monday's press conference.
Adams is one of many people on the team who have felt the influence of captain Jason Avant, both on and off the field. "He just always keeps me encouraged, he talks to me a lot about believing in myself and believing in the spirit inside of me." Adams attends service. with his teammate Avant every Sunday at True Worship Church in Detroit. Lately, some of their other teammates have started to tag along with Jason, Jamar and running back Alijah Bradley. "Other teammates are coming, Steve Breaston's been at this church the last two weeks ... he's playing well too," laughed Adams. "Morgan Trent's been coming the last two weeks and he's playing well too. So it's been a lot of teammates that come to church with us. I think our team has a lot of spiritual guys. David Schoonover goes to the (Mott Children's) hospital every Thursday and we have different teammates that go with him to the hospital. Jason Avant and so many different players are spiritually grounded and spiritually based. I think that helps you with football and it helps you in life to keep that balance. Too much of football and not enough spirituality, I don't think your body can handle that. Each game of football is so demanding, I think you have to have a balance."
Adams has also found a core group of guys he can stick with and stay of out of trouble which can sometimes ruin a player's opportunity and bring negative attention to him and the program. "You come back from the games, it's good to have somebody like Jason or my roommate Charles (Charles Stewart, whose father is a minister) that don't want to go out and do whatever, they want to sit in and watch a movie or they want to sit in and read or whatever. It kind of makes it feel like you have somebody there with you, you're not just alone."
Adams also participated in making eight-year-old Matt Keyser of Sturgis, Michigan's Make-A-Wish Foundation wish come true. Matt is diagnosed with encephalitis which is an inflammation of the brain. His wish was to visit Michigan Stadium and meet some of Michigan's players. Adams' interaction with Matt has put things in perspective for the sophomore safety who was deeply impacted by the youngster. "Sometimes I think when you get into practice and you get so in depth with the game and you start thinking about techniques, you stop thinking that football is a game. And the reason we play is a genuine love for the game. This young man, his last wish was to come to Michigan Stadium. To me that's amazing. To me, it just continued to encourage me, you know say, ‘Jamar you think you're hurt but this kid can't even walk'," said Adams. "It just continued to motivate me on the field." Adams hopes that his visit with Matt a few weeks ago will not be his last. "I want to call and see how he's doing; I actually talked to (David) Schoonover about it and he told me last week he's still in the hospital. I definitely want to keep my ear to the ground about him. I want to go see him, soon as I have the time to."
Along with growing spiritually at Michigan, Adams has also been thrust into the spotlight on the field. After seeing some playing time last season as a true freshman, Adams is now starting in place of injury-hampered Brandent Englemon. "I always believe in if you continue to work hard, you are always going to get your opportunity," said Adams. "I think that's what life is all about -- not just football, but in life -- you just continue to work hard and you will get your opportunity. I think in practice, I continued to practice hard and my coaches continued to push me, so I knew that they believed in me and that my chance would come."
The strong safety job was one many expected Adams to take over for the departed Ernest Shazor, but when training camp broke it was Englemon who came away with the number one spot on the depth chart. However, Adams was neither surprised no, bitter just more motivated. "I thought coming out of camp, I didn't compete as well as Brandent did. He competed extremely hard and wanted a starting job and earned it. I took that and used it as motivation at practice. I said if I'm not going to be able to make plays on Saturday, I going to make plays during the week. I think that translated to when I got my opportunity on the field." When ask what he felt he's done better, Adams is quick to point to one thing.
"I think I listen to my coaches more," said Adams. "I think that is the key with this game. I remember when I was young guy and I watched a movie and they said football is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. That's a true statement. Football is much more mental now; it's not just a physical line-up and two yards and a cloud does it, it's a mental game. You have got to know where you need to be on the field at all times."
Being in the right place is something Jamar Adams is steadily getting more accustomed to doing -- on the football field as well as off it.
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