New York Jets 2017 first-round pick Jamal Adams is an amazing young man.
Not only the best safety prospect in last weekend’s draft, but also considered the best leader. Jets coach Todd Bowles describes the former LSU star as “an alpha dog.”
“You hear great stories about him from a leadership standpoint,” said former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah, now with the NFL Network. “I talked to folks at LSU, they say he’s the best leader they’ve had there in 20 years.”
A big reason Jamal Adams evolved into this special person is his father George Adams, who did a fantastic job raising him, along with his wife Michelle.
Unlike too many prospects in the NFL draft, Jamal Adams was lucky enough to have a father in his life, from the cradle to the NFL, and it was a huge factor in his maturation process.
George Adams played in the NFL for five years in the late 1980’s, before a serious hip injury ended his career.
He’s been an even better father than running back.
“He played a big role from when I first picked up a football,” Jamal said about George. “Just keeping me grounded, always working, always competing hard with anything I did.”
“I’m more proud of him (now) than when I was getting drafted,” George said.
Surely many other draft prospects wish they had a father like George Adams in their lives growing up.
For example, Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley, a first-round talent, slipped to the sixth-round to Cleveland, due to a battery charge from an incident at a Gainesville, Florida, bar where he allegedly struck a woman. His father was in and out of jail during his childhood, and Caleb was raised by his mother and grandmother.
Atlanta Falcons first-round pick Takk McKinest, who grew up without a father and was abandoned by his mother, caused a stir at the draft when he dropped an F-bomb during a live interview on the NFL Network. The defensive end carried a picture of his late grandmother who raised him, and became very emotional during the interview while paying tribute to her.
Clemson QB DeShaun Watson, a first-round pick of Houston, was raised by a single mother, Deanne, in a Habitat for Humanity home.
The father of Cleveland Browns first-round pick, safety Jabril Peppers, was in prison from the time he was seven until 2014.
When San Francisco 49ers first-round pick, linebacker Reuben Foster, was 18 months old, he was being held by his mother when his father shot her in the back. His father was on the run for the next 16 years, before his arrest in 2013.
Look, there are plenty of prospects who have fathers, but perhaps not enough.
Jamal Adams was blessed to not only have a father, but a very caring one.
“[George and Jamal] are something else,” LSU safety John Battle told the Baton-Rouge Advocate. “You can’t tell they’re son and dad, the way they interact with each other. They’re like brothers.”
That’s now, with Jamal all grown up.
But when Jamal was growing up, he was son and George was the father.
And quite a father he was.