MOORE — Most young people today call those who doubt them haters. Southmoore’s Jalen Adams has another word for the doubt delivered by so many who never thought he would make it as a football player:
When Adams sat in front of the Southmoore student body Wednesday and signed his National Letter of Intent to play football at North Texas, the doubters were on his mind.
“My freshman year, coming into Southmoore, people were saying, ‘He’s just a fast guy,’” Adams said. “‘He’s not going to be able to play football at the next level.’
“That was definitely some motivation for me. Just kept on working hard, saw that people were going to tell me no, but I was going to prove them wrong. And now I’m here standing in front of all those people who said I wouldn’t make it.”
Adams was joined by seven other teammates who also signed letters of intent to play college football. In total, 18 athletes from Southmoore took part in signing day.
After a standout junior campaign, Adams’ senior season numbers were not what he expected. But the wide receiver still found ways to help the SaberCats and that was enough to entice the Mean Green to offer a scholarship.
“Not a lot of people in my family have gone to college,” Adams said. “I will be the first one to go to a D-I college in athletics or do something like that. It hurt at times when people would tell you you’re not good enough. You can sit there and cry about it or use it as motivation.”
Adams said he had interest from the likes of Tulsa, Indiana and Ohio. But North Texas is the one he felt the most comfortable at.
“When I went up to a game and I saw how they play and how much energy they bring to the stadium up there, how the coaches react, everyone there is definitely there for your best interest,” Adams said. “There is no undercover stuff going on. There is none of that stuff they are going to do behind your back.
“(I) felt like it was going to be right for me. Talked to my mom about it. She liked it. My family liked it. Made my decision that that’s where I’m going to spend the next four years.”
Adams was also looking for a place he could thrive in areas not limited to football. After dealing with the effects of the May 20 tornado that wiped out the homes and neighborhoods of many of his SaberCat teammates and friends, he said he acquired a different outlook on what he wanted out of life.
“Going through that, I definitely had to slow some things down and think about how I can’t take things for granted,” Adams said. “I could have died in that tornado. That could have been my last day. I take every practice, every workout, every game, and put everything I have into it.
“You never know when another one can hit. You never now when a disaster can hit. Anything can happen to you. Just take and use that as more motivation to keep moving and not take anything for granted.”
Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth email@example.com