Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Fletcher Adams readies for first college action.

Mississippi State will kick off the 2016 football season bright and early this Saturday morning at 11 A.M. While many others around this great land of hours begin their work day at a much earlier time, 11 AM is early for football, especially in September. Despite the early kick and the summertime temps, Bulldog frosh Fletcher Adams just wants to be on the field.

"I feel good," Fletcher Adams. "I have gotten a lot better since my freshman year. I have been working hard on my technique and all of that. I am just ready to get out there and get a win each and everyday."

For Adams, a Bulldog victory would be the first in his college football playing career. As a true freshman last fall, Adams entered the Mississippi State program with high expectations. With some quality depth in the interior defensive line, Coach Dan Mullen elected to give Adams a redshirt year in hopes of allowing the Brandon High (MS) alum the chance to learn and grow before being pressed into service.

"The main thing you have to get used to is game speed," Adams said. "Everything happens a lot faster in college. The playbook is nothing like what you had in high school. You have  a lot more assignments. Learning all of that and learning how to do it all right was one of the main things for me."

Adams is the younger brother of Bulldog defensive tackle Nelson Adams. The elder Adams is part of a talented core of senior defensive lineman who are working to lead the Mississippi State team into a new era of defense.

"It's been good to have leadership," Adams said. "I think we have like seven seniors. We have some young guys too, but the older guys have done a good job of keeping us all on board. They have been getting us ready for the season and working with us on the little things."

A year removed from being one of the "Juice" boys on the Bulldog sideline, Adams is now running second team defensive end. The talented redshirt freshman expects to see the field this weekend, but the former Brandon Bulldog reports that there was more to learn this fall as well.

"The main thing I've learned this year is to stay locked in," Adams said. "Now it's about doing things right. I feel like if you work hard and do your job that everything else is going to take care of itself."

While every incoming freshmen is assigned a big brother of sorts to aid in his transition to high school, Adams had the benefit of seeing the Bulldog program through his brother, Nelson's, eyes.

"It helps me a lot," Adams said of having an older brother to serve as a mentor. "Nelson knows the whole defense. He knows everything that is going on. He can tell me what's coming my way or if it's a run or a pass. He helps me with all of those sorts of things."

The brothers Adams will have just one year to share the field together. Knowing that senior day will be the end of their time together in Starkville is something that Adams has considered, but is training his focus on the journey ahead 

"I guess that's going to be tough," Adams said. "I know that I am going to need to really step up. Next year, I will be in my third year here. It's my time to step up and learn all I can from the seniors this year, so I can do all of that the next three years."

Talk of the future gives way to the present. With the season opener now mere days away, Adams is excited to get his college career underway and hit somebody in a different colored jersey for a change.

"We just have to keep getting better everyday," Adams said. "It's about repetition. We're just getting ready for South Alabama and we're going to take one game at a time. We just need to take care of a our bodies and stay in our playbook."

The Bulldogs will host South Alabama this weekend. Kickoff is set for 11 AM. A heat advisory is expected, so fans need to prepare for extreme heat during game time. The new clear bag policy will also be in effect. 

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