All throughout Oklahoma’s camp, you heard offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley sing the praises of freshman running back Abdul Adams.
Fans got to see it in person last week as Adams rushed for 91 yards on 18 carries, making his debut in OU’s 59-17 victory against ULM.
It was crucial for Adams to see that time because if his first taste of action came against Ohio State this weekend, that’s a lot to ask for a freshman.
A freshman who has steadily rose up the ranks. It was a blow when OU lost Rodney Anderson to a season-ending neck injury in camp, but it opened the door a bit for Adams.
Adams was splitting time with Daniel Brooks as the third running back, but it seems pretty clear it’s going to be Adams’ time to shine.
“The first I had to get a feel for the game, and as I kept getting the ball, I kept getting more confident in what I could do,” Adams said. “I got my feet wet, and I’ve just got to be patient and wait until my name is called.”
Adams showed he’s more than just a runner as well with perhaps the best catch of the entire game being his 16-yard reception from Austin Kendall in the third quarter.
If it feels like Adams has been following Riley around, you’re not too wrong about that. Adams was committed to East Carolina when Riley was at ECU. And once Adams and Riley could reconnect on Adams’ official visit last November, the Sooners became the school.
“He’s always been the same guy,” Adams said. “Great guy, great coach. And not just all about coaching, he’s a father figure as well.”
A father figure that slowly took off the training wheels for Adams last week. It has become pretty apparent how tough it is to keep running backs healthy in today’s game.
Anderson is out. Brooks is dinged up, and Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine have both shown they’re not immune to taking hits and being bruised.
Nobody is expecting Adams to be the No. 1 back this weekend or even this season, but it seems like, if nothing else, he’ll be ready for the moment.
“You can’t duplicate that and how important it is for their confidence just to get that first one out of the way,” Riley said. “You saw a little hesitation early and turned into more aggressiveness after that. It was great. He did a good job. I thought he got better as the game went on. I think it will be a good building point for him.”