At Auburn, Harrison grad Adams rips it up

Darvin Adams had a request for his new position coach.

The Auburn wide receiver from Harrison High wanted Trooper Taylor to call him "Smooth."

"I said it was going to take me awhile for that to happen," Taylor said. "He was going to have to make some plays."

That was shortly after Taylor was hired as an assistant on coach Gene Chizik's staff. Adams, a sophomore, now leads the Tigers in catches and receiving yards and is in the top six in the SEC in both categories.

"You can bet he's called ‘Smooth' now," Taylor said. "He's earned it."

Adams, who caught only three passes last season, has thrived with the addition of Chizik, Taylor and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn's spread offense. Georgia will get a firsthand look when the Bulldogs play the Tigers on Saturday in Athens.

"I thought I'd be doing good in this offense," Adams said, "but I didn't think I'd be doing this good."

Adams made a quick impression on the Tigers' new coaching staff. After replacing Tommy Tuberville in December, Chizik and his staff went over 2008 game film to evaluate every player, Taylor said, even looking at recruiting video.

Taylor said special-teams coordinator Jay Boulware told him, "I don't know who No. 89 is, but he's a baller on special teams."

Adams continued to impress in offseason conditioning, spring practice and in the preseason. He won a wide-open competition for a starting spot.

"It wasn't that hard" to learn the offense, Adams said. "We just learned the basics, and we go off the basics."

After nine catches in Auburn's first two games, Adams torched West Virginia for six catches, three of which went for touchdowns, as the Tigers came from behind to the Mountaineers 41-30.

Adams is averaging 3.8 catches and 62.7 yards per game, which rank him sixth and fourth in the SEC, respectively. His nine receiving touchdowns are the most in the SEC and three shy of the Auburn school record. Taylor has assigned him only one dropped pass this season and has given him a grade of 90 or higher for each game.

Adams has paired remarkable physical gifts with maniacal competitiveness.

"No matter what he's doing, whether it's a drill, or one-on-one against a defensive back or a scout-team guy or another receiver, he's trying to win," Taylor said. "When you watch him in games, when he's going to block, he's going 100 miles an hour."

Adams still plays on the kickoff- and punt-coverage teams and would play more if coaches would let him.

When a defensive back got hurt in a recent game," he said, ‘Coach, I'll go over there and go both ways,' and he meant it."

Taylor said that Adams needs to get stronger and keep improving, but says he is on a path for honors such as All-American and the Biletnikoff Award. Taylor would know, having coached two recent All-American wide receivers, Dez Bryant at Oklahoma State and Robert Meachem at Tennessee.

Said Taylor, "If he keeps working like he is, he'll put himself there."

About the Author

Editors' Picks