Athletic, adept Adams ready to lead Hilltoppers

Dave Ongie • Updated Aug 5, 2017 at 5:40 PM

Science Hill’s football team had its share of ups and downs early in the 2016 campaign, but by the end of the season, there was no slowing down quarterback Jaylan Adams.

Adams capped the regular season with one of the best performances a Hilltoppers has ever produced during Science Hill’s longstanding rivalry with Dobyns-Bennett. Adams ran for 303 yards on 18 carries and six touchdowns, and he also threw for 131 yards and another score to help engineer a 56-35 win.

He followed that up with 100 yards on the ground and 100 more through the air in a 48-0 whitewashing of Siegel in the first round of the playoffs, leading the ’Toppers to 417 yards of offense in their eighth and final win of the season.

The bad news for opponents looking to bottle up the 5-foot-10, 164-pound senior this season is two-fold. First of all, Adams believes the game has slowed down for him after a year of game experience and a summer of camps, 7-on-7 competitions and scrimmages.

“A lot has slowed down for us, especially for me, going to a lot of camps, just studying the game a whole lot more,” Adams said. “It’s slowed it down in my mind to what it really is, and I’m just taking it step-by-step.”

Secondly, Science Hill coach Stacy Carter believes Adams is even quicker than he was last year.

“He’s a whole lot faster,” Carter said. “He was a great runner even last year, and he started throwing the ball very well last year and had some great games at the end.”

Adams became a more efficient passer as the season wore on last year. He completed 21 of 22 passes in a blowout win on the road at Jefferson County in the second half of the season, and now the expectation is that Adams will be a more consistent passer this year.

Adams said the 7-on-7 work he got to do with his receivers this summer laid a good groundwork for developing chemistry.

“You have four seconds to get it off, and that actually helps with throwing and putting it into spots,” he said. “Just figuring out the speed of each other and where to put it at, it just really helps with all of us working out every day of the summer.”

Aundre Butler and TJ Patton figure to be two of Adams’ top targets at the receiver positions, and Denzel Medina has plenty of experience at tight end. There is no shortage of talent in the pass catching ranks, but Science Hill strength lies in an experienced offensive line and an electric group of running backs.

“We’ve have a lot returning on the offensive line,” Adams said. “It’s great having a line you can trust that you know is going to protect you.”

Trey Gasteiger, Zach Colvin, Blake Austin and Stephen Grant are all returning starters up front while Ahmik Waterson, Drew Morrison and Chris Thomas are among the backs who have turned heads so far in the preseason.

While Adams feels a great deal of responsibility on his shoulders that comes with being the starting quarterback at Science Hill and wearing Steve Spurrier’s No. 11 jersey, he expects his offensive line and his running backs to ease the burden elsewhere.

“It makes it a lot easier,” Adams said. “It takes a lot off of my legs.”

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