Senior QB Seth Adams, a 6-4, 220-pounder from "just up the road" (Holly Springs), isn't into big talk or a lot of flash.
Since he has been on campus, joining the Reb squad last January after a successful JUCO stint at Hinds CC, Seth has quietly knocked down one barrier after another and is currently in a battle for the starting quarterback slot for the 2007 season.
Last spring, he rose to the top of the quarterback rotation before the arrival of Brent Schaeffer, Michael Herrick and Cliff Davis. In the annual Grove Bowl, he was 14-30 for 147 yards and two TDs.
For his efforts, Seth was awarded a scholarship for the 2006 season after walking on in spring.
When the more highly-touted gunslingers showed up in the summer, it was perceived by some that he would fall back in the pack.
He did go to number two behind Schaeffer, but he was the clear number two, with Herrick and Davis redshirting, Billy Tapp eventually being moved to tight end and Conner Wise opting out of football to pursue ROTC advancement.
As the season progressed, Seth mostly watched from the sidelines, worked hard in practice and waited on his chance to play.
When Schaeffer sputtered, he was inserted in some games - six to be exact. In all, Seth completed 17-31 (54.8%) passes for 177 yards. He didn't throw any TD passes, but he also didn't throw any interceptions.
Now, in spring training of 2007, it appears his body of work for the year he's been on campus has put him in a fight for the top spot with Brent, even though nobody is saying for sure in Coach Ed Orgeron's tight-lipped camp.
"My goal is to be the starter," said the unassuming Adams, "but that is the goal for everyone on this team. I want to do my part to help this team, no matter what my role is. I can accept any role I'm given, but my focus is on winning the top job."
Adams has gotten to where he currently is via being consistent, not flashy.
Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner has expressed in the past an appreciation of that approach.
While Schaeffer is considered more of a big-play threat, there was a high level of risk-reward prevelant last season with the mercurial one under center. Seth is more of a blue-collar, don't-beat-yourself performer.
"I've worked hard on the playbook, my footwork and my accuracy. I think all the quarterbacks know the system now and that's showing up in practice," he stated. "We're doing a better job with our checks and our recognition. I know I feel more comfortable in knowing what the coaches want."
Adams said the unfamiliarity of the offense last season limited things somewhat.
"We have a huge playbook, but our coaches were forced to hone everything down last year until we learned all the basics," he explained. "I think you will see us add to our play arsenal next season to include more of a quick passing game and some different plays to get the ball in our playmakers' hands."
Adams said he's making progress this spring. He feels his accuracy has improved and his comfort level is up, but he stops short of saying he thinks he "deserves" to be the starter.
"I have to compete for the starting job. I feel I can be a starter, but I know I have to keep getting better and I know I have strong competition for the job. I'll just keep working hard and see what comes from that," he continued. "I'm confident and will give it my best."
Seth believes the key to anyone winning the starting QB job is consistency.
"Consistently making plays and moving the team down the field by using the playmakers is what it's all about. Not beating yourself, getting the offensive guys in the right situations and keeping them in the right situations. That's our job as the quarterback," Adams stated simply. "We have to limit turnovers and make the plays that are there to be made. That's my job desciption of a successful QB.
"In assessing my game, I'd like to improve some of my deeper throws - the play-action stuff, and build on my confidence. I'm getting quality reps in spring training, so it's up to me to improve my game."
Seth said he has seen progress from the wide receivers in the early going of spring drills.
"Our receivers aren't freshmen any more. There is a definite want-to in those guys and I feel the timing has gotten better between all the quarterbacks and the receivers," he noted. "We should continue to get better and better this spring.
"We have a strong run game, but we have to improve our passing game to free the run game up even more. We need to be more balanced in 2007 to keep defenses honest. I think we will get there."
Seth does not believe a starting quarterback will be named at the end of spring, so he knows the journey he's on is a long and winding road.
"I knew my role last year and did it to the best of my ability. I was fortunate enough to have one of my dreams come true - to play in games as the quarterback for Ole Miss," he closed. "Now, I consider myself a viable candidate to be the starter, but I know there is a lot of competition out there and I know I just have to keep working."
Nobody knows, for sure, who will be the quarterback in 2007, but senior Seth Adams knows he's in the hunt for the coveted job.
And that's all he asks.
Seth Adams update -
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