7 day suspensions are a kick in the balls1, and we both begrudge the fact that this blog is now beleaguered by NCAA sanctions. Gabby fears that we will become the Auburn of the blogosphere, though it would take a severe penalty to get to that point. Now, regrettably, we are most definitely the Alabama of the college football blogosphere. But, similar to what the locals down here reaffirm to themselves, our blog shall RISE AGAIN.
In the 7th installment of our 20 part series titled Better Know A Buckeye, I continue with the theme of recent enrollees and turn my attention to, by far, my most favouritestest recruit in the class: Mike Adams. Unlike some of the other recruits in this class, Mike Adams’ recruitment was far from eventful and may have been the most assured lock for the Buckeyes as the 2008 recruiting campaign got rolling. Consequently, this BKAB feature may not be particularly enlightening, but given the fact that I am enamored with Mike Adams’ potential and am definitely prone to hero worship, you can expect some sprinkling of Mike Adams’ legend through this feature. You might question how someone like Mike Adams — of whom most unconfirmed reports suggest was born in 1990 — could be responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs through a pancaking rampage, but I should reiterate what I’ve said before: I’m earnestly convinced Mike Adams was put on this earth by God to smite people who He deems naughty in His eyes. Be careful.
Height: 6’8 12’300
Weight: 305lbs Kilotons
Forty: 5.1 Mach 1.151, which lies just above the speed of sound in that foggy transonic area. With some coaching, Mike Adams could approach the speed of light.
GPA: 2.9 Mike Adams knows all.
His Recruitment: As far as I know, Mike Adams was initially scouted (alongside other Coffman products like Gardiner, Stoneburner, and Fairchild) by current Okie State Cowboys defensive coordinator Tim Beckman, then the Ohio State secondary coach. Whoever initially was sent to (attempt to) measure Mike Adams with our primitive human standard of measurements is not that important, for it wouldn’t take much to realize that Mike Adams was going to be a gem in anyone’s 2008 class and may very well be the best tackle in the 2008 class. Adam’s progress from sophomore campaign to junior campaign was substantial, improving to a leaner, meaner tackle with improved leverage and increased killing power. However, legend holds that visions of Mike Adams appeared to Jim Tressel in a dream, where Providence instructed Tressel that the way, the truth, and the light shall all be revealed through a Mike Adams pancake block, where all ballcarriers could waltz through for divine glory and multiple touchdowns. Beckman was presumably responsible for the early reports on Mike Adams, but Mike was the kind of prospect that could’ve taken his recruiting to a national stage if he so wanted.
Whatever the “official” story, Mike Adams was thought to be a lock for Ohio State’s 2008 class. Mind you, as Ohio State recruitniks and fans know all too well, the 2008 class was stacked with lineman targets in what was — in glowing terms — presumptively labeled as a potential “Block O” class. The issue, though, was whether or not “Block O” could be actualized. Could Shugarts be yanked from Texas, and specifically the Longhorns? Would Brewster really turn down Alabama and Florida for Ohio State? Is Zebrie Sanders interested in becoming a Buckeye? Would Kyle Long play baseball or stick to football? With those thoughts lingering, most people knew that if the prospect of a “Block O” class fell through because their out of state targets went elsewhere, we almost assuredly take Mike Adams and that it would be a significant haul. Mike Adams was a fan of the Buckeyes, and always reiterated that Ohio State was a longtime favourite and clearly no. 1 on his list of schools he was looking at the union of Mike Adams and The Ohio State University was ordained by God and foretold in numerous passages in the Bible. These passages are somewhere in the back of the Bible. It’s in there, though.
Adams attended the 2006 spring game as a sophomore in HS. He would attend camp in the summer of 2006, where he received a verbal offer. As soon as Ohio State legally could, he was extended a written offer on September 1. He would attend the Northern Illinois game the next day. He, along with other key line prospects Brewster, Shugarts and Long, attended the Penn State game on the weekend of Sept 23-24 in 2006. He returned for the Minnesota game on Oct 28 2006, where the Gophers were blanked 44-0. He would also return for the Michigan game to watch the Buckeyes triumph over the Wolvereenies. Even more interesting for this reader, Mike Adams was a regular at the Ohio State bowl practices in December, where he developed even closer ties with Jim Bollman and Jim Tressel. Confidence was really high on this pick, as he consistently ranked Ohio State as his top choice in the recruiting process. Indeed, most conversations around Mike Adams weren’t really involved with the question of whether or not he would come to Ohio State, but rather could he use his friendship with Brewster, Shugarts and Long and bring in those 3 with him?
Mike Adams also took other unofficial visits to expand his list of schools for consideration mess with other schools and give them a false sense of hope. He attended the Michigan-Notre Dame game in South Bend during the 2006 season. After the 2006 season, he attended Junior Days at both Notre Dame and Michigan. The former unofficial visit earned him an offer from the Fighting Irish, though he would reiterate in an interview about the offer that Ohio State was his clear leader. Though Ohio State was one of the first schools to jump all over Mike Adams and recruit him hard, other schools offered him. His Top 5 of schools of which he would attend Ohio State and demoralize the 4 others went, largely in order of importance: Ohio State, Florida, Michigan, LSU and Tennessee. Other schools offered, though no one else appeared to be important players. Tennessee was going to be the lone SEC school to get an unofficial visit from Mike Adams, though I’m not sure if he was supposed to be the nexus of the visit. Trey Fairchild and Jake Stoneburner were going to go with him. The visit was scheduled for late February, though fell through. It wouldn’t matter much for Mike Adams anyways.
His Commitment: Mike Adams celebrated his 17th birthday on March 10 2007 in a rather unorthodox way. Where most kids expect to receive gifts, Mike Adams gave a gift on his birthday… by committing to Ohio State and becoming the second member of the 2008 Ohio State class. Indeed there was no shock here, as most everyone felt that Mike Adams would go to his childhood favourite school, and the local one at that fulfill the prophesy and his heavenly mission. The difference for Mike was Jim Tressel; he would stress that no other person he met on his brief recruiting trail was quite like him. He also vowed in the same breath to be a leader for this class. Not a bad pick up, of course: dependent on what your index is, Mike Adams is Ohio’s top recruit and the no. 3 overall recruit in the country.
The First Domino? Much of this is conjecture, since given my lack of credentials and lack of money, I’m confined to picking up only second-hand information. However, part of me is curious over whether or not this class would’ve have taken the shape it did without Mike Adams committing as early as he did2. I can offer an explanation for this assumption, though I back off any bold, deterministic claim.
Mike Adams could very well be responsible in large part — or at least played a bigger role than he is given credit — for recruiting super-recruiter Michael Brewster to Ohio State, and probably JB Shugarts as well. Again, I’m reticent to say too much about Brewster since he will probably be the capstone of the BKAB features, and the Jims (Bollman and Tressel) are probably the most important factor for him, but Adams, Shugarts and Brewster (along with Kyle Long, who opted for baseball at Florida State) all became close friends during the recruiting process and through the various camps and combines they all attended. In the lead up to the Penn State game, all 4 involved were discussing the idea of finding a place to play their college football together, with Ohio State appearing to be the only school that all 4 had mutual interest in. Mike Adams, however, was the first to pull the trigger for the Buckeyes and vowed to be a leader for the 2008 class that was still in its infancy. Corollary to that was him nudging a few people. Michael Brewster was chief among them. It might also be fair to say that Adams probably drew in his HS teammate and friend Jake Stoneburner as well. They at least ventured on recruiting trails together. However, Stoneburner was recruiting people to Ohio State long before he had an offer himself.
So was the recruiting nexus for the 2008 campaign in Dublin, Ohio rather than Orlando, Florida? I don’t know. My curiosities here are not to take credit away from Michael Brewster and his family for their efforts for Ohio State recruiting so much as it’s to raise Mike Adams on a higher pedestal than I think most Buckeye fans have put him on in the class of Terrelle Pryor and Michael Brewster. To be fair, the difference here is a difference of degree of sociality. Michael Brewster is an aggressively social and gregarious personality (and I don’t mean that in a bad connotation), which led him to recruit on a bigger board than Adams. But Adams is quite social himself, and targeted a few people. Most of them committed to Ohio State, most of them you already know about and most of them would expand the recruiting web.
Whatever concrete role that Adams played isolated from other efforts is beyond my means now, but I don’t think it’s just coincidence that a well-networked and nationally-known prospect like Adams, who bleeds scarlet and gray, committed when he did and recruited who he did. He could’ve been the first domino to fall in what became an exceptional haul for 2008.
Where He Excels: Oh God… everything? I’ve seen anywhere from 6 to 8 highlight videos, ranging from sophomore season Mike Adams to junior season Mike Adams to senior season Mike Adams to Army All-American Mike Adams. I’ve seen highlight videos where Mike is featured prominently and others focused on other Dublin players (thus avoiding the selection bias), and I didn’t see much of a weakness to speak of. You would think that a 17-18 year old kid who comes in at 6’8 and 305 would have some fitness issues to work on, but Mike Adams is all lean muscle. Seriously, there is no discernible flab on the guy. His agility at that stage is almost unfair: 6’8 300lb kids aren’t supposed to move like wide receivers. Footwork might be flawless, unless a more trained eye can find something to work on. Also unfair: how well Mike Adams has pass protection down. Most high school lineman play in run heavy systems, which makes pass protection a novel thing at the next level. Mike Adams, on the other hand, is probably a better pass blocker than run blocker (Rivals.com agrees), and his run blocking is horrifying. I’ve seen highlight videos of some of the marquee lineman in this class (Brewster, Shugarts, Adams, Patchan and Love), and Mike Adams was by far the most impressive to me. He’s the only lineman I’ve seen that goes into rampage mode on run blocking.
Must Work On: Scout.com says Mike Adams needs to work on body control and balance, but I think he did work on that for his junior season and got rid of that big-kid-growing-into-his-body awkwardness. This criticism might be a little outdated and limited to his sophomore season efforts. Another criticism I came across of Mike was the level of competition, since apparently the Ohio Capital Conference doesn’t tickle national recruitniks pink like it should. The OCC spits out top regional products, so why some people were treating the OCC like it was a low-level high school division from some wussy non-football state like North Dakota is beyond me. I think Mike Adams laid this criticism to rest with his dominating performance in the Army All-American Game. Where I do see him make a mistake, I don’t see it as a mechanical issue, rather more of an attention issue.
Given the recent injury to his shoulder that will sideline him for the Spring, there’s only one real issue with Mike Adams: is he a demigod? Did the shoulder injury reveal some signs of mortality? If so, Mike Adams needs to work on becoming completely immortal, at which time his body will evolve into an essence of pure energy and, if my hypothesis is correct, I’m pretty sure the whole galaxy would be destroyed.
You Might Remember Me From Such College Greats As: AtO says Korey Stringer, though I think Adams is further along in his development than Stringer was coming from Warren. Realistically, I see a lot in Mike Adams that makes me think Orlando Pace, except where Pace had the instant impact that Mike Adams probably won’t have playing behind either Browning at RT or being Boone’s understudy at LT. Both have similar measurables, similar footwork and unparalleled size and fitness for the position. This is, of course, a glowing comparison to one of the best lineman in the history of college football, and Mike Adams will definitely need to bust his hump to get as good as he could be, but there’s a reason why Mike Adams is projected to be a 2017 Pro Bowler.
Miscellany, Legend style: Okay, that does it, I have to get this out of my system.
- Contrary to popular wisdom, Moses did not part the Red Sea. Rather, Mike Adams pancaked the path for God’s chosen people (HT: my old man)
- Mike Adams is an avid hunter, but only of the most dangerous game of them all: Man
- Played in a church-league flag football game as a youth against a team led by Chuck Norris. Therein, Mike Adams did the unthinkable and pancaked Norris on the line of scrimmage. Adams’ team gained 4 yards on the play. Norris and Adams sometimes discuss the incident over their usual heavy drinking on Thursday nights
- Military/weaponry historians sometime refer to the crossbow as “the Mike Adams of the 15th century” for its elegance and its ability to kill hordes of people with relative ease. Mike Adams appreciates the weapon, but prefers to use his fists when he goes out killing
- Crushes whole villages into a fine powder to help butter his toast for breakfast. He washes down his toast with paint thinner
- Mentioning his name will induce widespread weeping and gnashing of teeth in many villages across Eastern Bolivia, where his rampaging has become ingrained in folklore
- Called Genghis Khan a pussy for needing a horde of Mongols to assist him in his wanton destruction of villages. He and Genghis Khan are still not on speaking terms
- During the Savannah campaign, Major General William Tecumseh Sherman called a timeout and devised a play to advance his troops, which called to run off-tackle behind Mike Adams. Mike Adams took care of the rest; Sherman took the credit for the “March to the Sea”
- Mike Adams is responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Mike told God that any creature that could not approximate the wingspan he had was not worthy of living. God agreed, Mike Adams pancaked the dinosaurs into extinction, and humanity started anew with mankind.
- Constructed the Tower of Babel before pancaking it to the ground after recognizing that there really wasn’t a market in Ancient Babylon for a tower to heaven. Most of those people were poor deadbeat losers who probably couldn’t pay the rent, and have you seen the going rates for a tower to heaven these days?
- Thought about planting a Japanese garden in his backyard, but evidently tearing apart an entire neighborhood and planting the residents’ heads into the ground isn’t exactly the textbook definition of a “Japanese garden”. Not coincidentally, there was some unpleasantness in the Greater Tokyo Area, and he can never go back…
I’m sure more of his tall tales will come to light as his college years progress.
Highlights: ScoutingOhio has some footage, so too does Rivals.com. YouTube has some videos of the Coffman team. The first video linked below is Mike Adams heavy, but the second video below is focused on his teammate (and Syracuse signee) Trey Fairchild and the third on Louisville-bound Zak Stoudt. Mike Adams plays Left Tackle in all plays and wears no. 75. You won’t see him make much mistakes.
It should not be lost on anyone who reads this that Mike Adams is by far our most favourite recruit in the 2008 class. So, to our favourite ten foot tall beastman who showers in vodka and feeds his baby shrimp scampi, consider yourself Better Known… or something…
- but the business week in Chicago was totally worth it [↩]
- Buchanan was the first to commit, though I already christened this 2008 class as the Buchanan Bunch here [↩]