Adams back in the fold


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Keith Adams at Dabo's camp this week.
Keith Adams at Dabo's camp this week.

CLEMSON – Former Clemson linebacker Keith Adams bounced around the football practice fields last week, coaching players and offering advice with the same heart and intensity he showed as a Tiger from 1997-2000.

The good news for Tiger fans is that Adams, who has returned to Clemson so he can finish his degree in Sports Management, is going to be helping coach the young Tiger linebackers this fall.

Adams was a first-team All-American for the Tigers as a senior in 2000, and he finished his Clemson career with 23 sacks from the linebacker spot. He told TigerNet Wednesday that he sees this as the perfect opportunity to not only give back to his school, but learn more about coaching.

“Me coming back to school to finish my degree, I knew I could probably help the team out as a student-coach,” Adams said. “I am excited about the direction the team is going, and I wanted to be involved. The opportunity opened up, and I talked to Coach [Dabo] Swinney and he told me he would be excited for me to come back and help out. I want to get into coaching, so this is a great start.”

Adams, who played 85 games in the NFL, feels like he has a lot to offer.

“This has been really good for me,” he said. “I am not too far removed from playing the game, and I have a lot of experience I will be able to translate to the field. I get around these coaches, and I see the way they coach and that helps me. It is exciting to be around a guy like Coach [Brent] Venables, who came from Oklahoma and has coached a long time and been very successful. To learn from someone like him this early in my career is a blessing.”

Adams said that he is already learning from Venables.

“He is definitely a guy that I will try and soak up as much knowledge as I can from him,” Adams said. “He is a proven winner. Coach Swinney is a proven winner. He went and won the ACC with a very young team last year. The sky is the limit, and I am excited about the potential and the opportunity.”

He continued by saying he wants to help out all over the field.


“I am here, and I have been around the last couple of weeks,” he said. “I am just soaking up everything and learning as much of the defense as I can. I will help coach the linebackers, special teams, anywhere they can possibly use me. I have experience that I feel can help.”

He also said he can't wait for the opportunity to watch Clemson’s outstanding group of linebackers.

“Every coach wants to be able to work with young talent,” he said. “You see these guys and their skills set and know they have what it takes. They proved it in high school, and now they have a year under their belts in college. It is really exciting for me to be able to work with them. They are so fresh and raw, and I am fresh and raw in my coaching career, so we can learn from each other. But hopefully, I can help coach them up.”

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