When the head coach keeps bringing up your name, it can be a good thing or a bad thing.
Jerell Adams is going to take it as a good sign for now. South Carolina’s senior tight end has been put on notice by Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier that a big season – a season to match his talent and his size – is expected.
“Hopefully, it’s a good thing,” Adams said. “Knowing that the Head Ball Coach is talking about you makes you feel good.”
At the least, Adams knows he’s a big part of the offensive plan heading into the 2015 season.
Never miss a local story.
“We keep thinking he is going to bust out and have a big year, and he should this year,” Spurrier said. “It’s his last go-round. He’ll get a lot of opportunities and, hopefully, he’ll have a big year. I think he’s ready to go.”
Spurrier doesn’t believe the Gamecocks have mined all they could have out of the 6-foot-6, 231-pounder who played quarterback, tight end, linebacker, defensive end and punted at Scott’s Branch High in Pinewood.
“I agree,” Adams said. “I haven’t gotten a lot of playing time. Hopefully, I can shine now.”
Adams has played in 35 games the past three years, starting six. He has totaled 38 catches for 556 yards and four touchdowns in that time.
“I had older guys in front of me that had been doing what I was doing,” he said. “I was just waiting my turn.”
That turn started to come late last year with Rory Anderson sidelined by injury. Adams caught 17 passes for 220 yards in the final six games of the regular season, and there could be more opportunity this season as the Gamecocks are eagerly auditioning everyone who might provide a receiving complement to star wide receiver Pharoh Cooper.
“A lot of teams are going to focus on Pharoh, so, hopefully, I get a lot of balls,” Adams said.
Adams has the ability to be “an all-conference type” tight end, Spurrier said.
“He’s been here a long time. I think Jerell is ready to play, and we are hoping this is his time to step out,” tight ends and quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus said. “He can be a heck of a weapon, that’s for sure.”
Adams, who describes himself as a “decent” blocker, won’t be thinking of this season as a showcase for NFL scouts, he said.
“I try not to get into that,” he said, “just let my playing skills tell it all.”
That’s what the Gamecocks have been looking for the past three years.