Will Adams and Megan Devotie revealed their college choices on Wednesday at Science Hill.
Adams, who played football and basketball for the Hilltoppers, signed with Presbyterian. Devotie announced she’ll play softball at King University.
Adams, a point guard, scored 1,486 points during his career, which is 12th all-time at the school. He also piled up 582 assists, 336 steals and 427 rebounds.
Adams likely would’ve ended up at Chattanooga if coach John Shulman had remained with the program. In fact, Presbyterian coach Gregg Nibert said Shulman was helpful in his landing Adams. Nibert watched film of a game against Memphis Melrose from this past season and last season’s game against Oak Hill, and had Adams down for a visit.
“The athleticism that he showed in taking the ball to the basket and shooting the three was (impressive),” said Nibert, who’s been at Presbyterian 24 seasons. “There was one play where he was driving — I’ve never seen this play and I’ve watched a lot of film — where he was taking the ball with his left hand driving to the basket. He was outside the lane ... and he jumped all the way across the lane and laid it in with his right hand.”
Adams’ stress level rose when a move was made at Chattangooa, but he never lost faith.
“I wanted to go Division I, because I felt like I was ready for that,” he said. “I just kept praying, and I felt in my heart that I knew it was gonna work out.”
Adams enjoyed his visit to Clinton, S.C., a couple of weeks ago, and felt like Presbyterian was a good fit. He said Blue Hose players spoke highly of Nibert.
“They said he’s a really good guy and he doesn’t expect anything but 110 percent,” Adams said. “They say he’s hard but he’s got a really respectful way about him.”
Presbyterian has been at the D-I level six years. Three years ago they beat Auburn and Wake Forest within three days of one another, and two years ago they won at No. 20 Cincinnati.
The Blue Hose must replace two starters, including a point guard. Nibert liked the fact that the teams of Adams and fellow backcourt signees Markus Terry (Atlanta-Chattahoochee) and Reggie Dillard (Greensboro Day) were a combined 92-7 this past season.
“Everybody wants kids that know what it takes to win and how hard you’ve got to practice,” Nibert said. “To get Will out of Science Hill was tremendous for us. Coach (Ken) Cutlip does a tremendous job teaching guy how to play unselfishly and how to play hard every possession and never being satisfied with your effort.
“Will’s just a guy that’s what I would say is a pleaser and a guy ... that will do whatever he can do to make the team win. You can’t put a price tag on what those guys mean to program that have that kind of attitude in today’s times.”
The long-armed, 5-foot-10 Adams also raised his stock by shooting 40.6 percent (58-143) from 3-point range this season. Science Hill was 133-18 during Adams’ career.
“You don’t find too many guys that have that many points and assists in a career,” Cutlip said. “I have never had a player who wanted to please his coach more than Will Adams. His leadership, work ethic and character are second to none. ... He is a perfect fit for Coach Nibert’s program at Presbyterian.”
Devotie is a smooth infielder who can handle the bat and runs well. She anticipates beginning her college career at second base for King, where she plans to study athletic training.
Devotie and her twin sister Hannah, who’s also had some college offers, have been playing softball since they were 5-year-olds in the Greeneville Parks & Rec league.
Megan said having a competitve twin sister has aided the each’s development. Science Hill coach Jerry Higgins suggested the siblings have helped instill grit in one another, and quickly touts Megan’s determination when sizing up her prospects at King.
“She’s just a tough kid,” Higgins said. “She’s played hurt. I know she played half the season last year with a big ole cyst on her arm. She got knocked out her sophomore year at Franklin, and cried because I’s gonna take her out. She’s just a tough, tough kid and she gets the job done.”
Megan has been nearly flawless at shortstop. She’s also played some third base because of her range when playing opponents that bunt frequently.
“She’s made one error this year in 87 chances at shortstop,” Higgins said. “I mean, that’s phenomenal.”
Devotie is hitting .427 with 38 runs and eight stolen bases this seasona for the Lady ’Toppers (25-13).
“With her physical and mental toughness she’ll stick four years at King,” Higgins said, “and she’ll contribute – probably right away, because A, she’s tough, and B, she’s so dang fast. She’s the typical 1-2 hitter in the college game.
“My advice to the girls is always go where you’re gonna get the most money and where you’re gonna get to play the most, because in four years softball’s over. There’s no life after college for fast-pitch softball players. So I think she made a great choice and King’s made a great choice.”
Four years were flashing before Devotie’s eyes at Wednesday’s signing ceremony.
“I remember my freshman year watching all the seniors sign, and it feels like it was last week,” she said. “We’ve had good days and bad days. It’s been fun.”