Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Adams has good reputation with HS coaches
South Carolina defensive line football coach Deke Adams, right, watches from court side seats during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
New Arkansas defensive line coach Deke Adams is well regarded among high school coaches who know him.
He will come to Fayetteville after being at Florida International as the defensive line coach and running game coordinator.
Coach Marcus Jelks at Stephenson High School in Snellville, Ga., thinks highly of Adams.
“He is a great, hard working coach that will demand excellence from his players,” Jelks said. “Great guy and football coach. He was one of my player’s position coaches at South Carolina.
“Great family man as well.”
Adams coached former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s coached at Ole Miss, Mississippi State, North Carolina, East Carolina and Southern Miss in his 20-plus year career.
He’s had six NFL draft selections since 2013, including two first-round picks.
Coach Todd Wofford of Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Ga., coached Adams’ son Jordyn in an All-Star game. The younger Adams was a highly recruited receiver who signed with North Carolina in 2018 but eventually inked a $4.1 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels baseball club.
“He is awesome,” said Wofford of the elder Adams. “I coached his son in the Army All American game four years ago. Great family as well, but great recruiter, great guy. He is well known as one of the best defensive line coaches out there.”
Adams has also been an assistant at Louisiana-Monroe (2008), North Carolina A&T (2006-07), Ouachita Baptist (2002-04) and Pearl River Community College (1998-02). Adams began his coaching career in 1997 as the defensive line coach at Jacksonville (Ala.) State.
During his time in Arkadelphia, Adams developed a good bond with several Arkansas high school coaches. Benton coach Brad Harris became acquainted with Adams early in his career.
“I was coaching at Arkadelphia, our boys played travel baseball together when they were 6-8 years old,” Harris said. “Always liked him, seemed to do a really good job for Coach (Todd) Knight as the defensive line coach and he coordinated the defense his last year, good family.”
Harris sees Adams’ personality being good for recruiting.
“I am sure he will be good, he was always real personable when he was in Arkadelphia,” Harris said.
Former long-time Fort Smith Southside coach and current Siloam Springs athletic director Jeff Williams got to know Adams when he recruited one of Williams’ players.
“He’s a high energy guy, he’s a guy that just attracts kids with his enthusiasm,” Williams said. “He’s just a hard working guy that’s worked his way up. He’s a great recruiter and a great coach.”
A native of Meridian, Mississippi, Adams played linebacker at Southern Miss and finished his career in 1994 while being a four-year member of the Dean’s List.
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