By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Jamal Adams is taking his talents to Sundays.
LSU’s All-American safety announced Friday morning that he’ll forego his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. Adams is a projected as a consensus first-round selection by draft experts.
“After deep prayer and consideration my family and I have agreed I will declared for the 2017 NFL Draft,” Adams said. “It wasn’t an easy decision.”
Surrounded by family, current coach Ed Orgeron and former coach Les Miles, the man who recruited and signed Adams three years ago this January, Adams spoke of the difficulty of leaving a year of eligibility on the table.
While he’d “kind of” made up his mind going into the BWW Citrus Bowl win against Louisville, Adams said he remained “iffy” on the decision to go pro until sitting down with his father, George — a former first-round pick of the New York Giants in his own right — and mom, Michelle, to discuss the future.
“I wasn’t a guy who googled my name and looked at NFL mock drafts,” Adams said. “(Heisman talk) wasn’t to try to trick anybody. I wanted to focus. I wanted to go out and beat Lamar Jackson and Louisville.”
“We hit adversity that no one will ever see. That no one will ever go through. Coach Miles getting fired … it took a toll on everyone … I wanted to finish as a winner.”
It was Jamal who asked George Adams to call Miles, who was fired from LSU in September, and invite him to attend the announcement. Jamal, who remembers Orgeron, who he said was “family now,” recruiting him to USC, wanted both of his head coaches in attendance.
“I told my father to invite Coach Miles,” Adams said. “It’s a bond that’ll never be broken. He’s a family guy I love him to death. I love Coach Miles and Coach O. Two great guys and great coaches.”
Adams came to LSU as a five-star safety out of Texas and instantly became a Freshman All-American. He started every game over the past two seasons while developing into one of the biggest-hitters and playmakers in the nation at the safety position. He’s a two-time All-SEC selection and All-American.
Miles said it was Adams’ infectious energy on the football field that’ll stick with him forever. He recounted a story from practice during Adams’ rookie season in which he began jumping up and down between plays on defense. Before long, the entire defense joined in.
In introducing Adams, Orgeron explained why he waited until the Louisville game to make Adams one of LSU’s captains.
“I wanted him to be captain for the biggest game of the year,” Orgeron said after praising his star’s development as a leader and a man. He went on to predict Adams would be an All-Pro and possibly even a Hall-of-Famer at the next level.
As for the team Orgeron presently coaches, his secondary will now be without its top two players in Adams and senior cornerback Tre’Davious White.
Adams, asked about those he leaves behind, revealed he sent a group text to all of the younger defensive backs informing them of his decision — though he received some replies joking about “one more year” — as well as issuing a mandate: don’t let it slip.
“It’d DBU,” Adams said. “It’s simple. I know what those guys are capable of … I told the guys I love them and I’m moving on.”
The next stop for Adams will be Arizona as the safety will train at EXOS as he prepares for the NFL Combine. His top two priorities, he says, are improving his 40-yard dash time and “becoming a pro,” a latter he ascribed as the reason for holding a press conference Friday.
Adams also confirmed he’ll sign with a sports agency to represent his interests.