Maturing Adams Settling Into Starting Role

Ohio State junior left tackle Mike Adams is leaner and meaner and that could lead to a breakout 2010 season for the former five-star prospect. Adams recently earned the Jim Parker lineman of the week honor and has shown increased physical and mental maturity so far this season.

Just how much Mike Adams has developed in his first two-plus seasons at Ohio State was evident as the junior left tackle watched film from the 2008 game against Ohio University in preparation for last weekend's game against the Bobcats.

Several members of the team watched as the then-true freshman Adams took the field with the second string offense and saw a very different player on the video screen compared to the one in the film room.

"He was huge," said Jake Stoneburner, Adams' former high school teammate and current OSU sophomore tight end. "He was around 320 (pounds), and we were laughing about how – not out of shape – but how big he was.

"Now he looks lean and he's gotten a lot stronger."

Adams weighed in at 322 in 2008 and is currently listed at 300. Like Stoneburner, he noticed a big difference when seeing his younger self while preparing for the Bobcats and called it a comical moment.

"It's crazy to see how fast your body changes, how fast you mature and how much it helps," Adams said. "I feel a lot better. It was always something I knew would happen when I got here. (Offensive line coach Jim Bollman) always says, ‘The leaner you stay, the longer you play.' "

After a first two seasons that featured several ups and downs, Adams could be in the midst of a breakout season. He impressed during the 2010 spring and preseason practices and earned the starting left tackle spot coming into the season. Adams has fared well through the first three games of the season, earning his first Jim Parker lineman of the week honor after the Sept. 19 victory against Ohio University.

Stoneburner said Adams' progression comes down the maturity.

"He now knows what it takes to start and succeed," Stoneburner said. "I think he's starting to work so much harder, not that he didn't work hard before, but he's taken it to another level in the weight room and out on the field.

"He's more confident and knows what he's doing. He's able to use his talents and not have to think too much."

Adams has had moments where he showed why he was a five-star recruit coming out of Dublin (Ohio) Coffman. However, he was not able to do it consistently and that led to some frustrations.

"I think he got kind of frustrated with that," Stoneburner said. "He knew what his talents were. He knew he could be out there, and he wasn't. I know that was frustrating, but he's happy now and out there and playing well."

Junior defensive end Nathan Williams is another player who has seen first-hand how Adams is maturing, not only physically but also mentally.

"The past couple of years I think he let some stuff bother him," Williams said. "When he got beat, he would get a negative attitude, but I think he doesn't think about it anymore now that he's a starter and he's matured and he's older."

The mental development Adams has gone through is not only about letting bad plays affect him. Adams admitted it has taken him a while to completely learn the Ohio State offense. Now that he is confident in the offense, Adams is ready to continue to show why he was one of the most-hyped members of the 2008 recruiting class.

"The whole game slows down once you get to that point," Adams said. "You've just got to trying to get better. The more stuff you know the easier the game is going to be for you and the faster you'll play."

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