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South Carolina football 2014 preview: Jerell Adams

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With just 89 days until the season begins, let's talk about Jerell Adams, the Gamecocks talented junior tight end.

Jerell Adams
Junior
6'6'' / 247 lbs
Pinewood, S.C.

Recruitment:
3 stars, 17th overall weakside defensive end in 2011 class. Upgraded to a four-star prospect after a year in prep school.
Other offers: Clemson, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, N.C. State, North Carolina, Notre Dame

College Career:
After committing in 2011, Adams was placed in prep school. He joined the Gamecocks in 2012 and quickly made an impact, earning All-Freshman honors from SEC coaches. He received frequent playing time backing up starter Rory Anderson and made his biggest play of the year with a long TD reception against Arkansas.

In 2013, Adams's playing time was limited early in the season due to injury, but as he recovered, he became a regular contributor to the offense. He had one of his biggest games in the Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin, when he caught three passes including this TD to help put the game away:

2014 Outlook:
To date, Adams's story has been that he's very talented but that he hasn't been able to get more playing time due to the player he's behind on the depth chart. That may change this year, though. With an uncertain timeline on Busta Anderson's return from a triceps injury suffered during spring ball, Adams has an opportunity to see his role increase substantially in 2014, particularly early in the season. If he has a big year, an announcement to take his fortunes to the NFL isn't out of the question. Already considered a solid prospect for the 2016 class, Adams could see his stock skyrocket if given a chance to fly out from under the radar this season. It will help that Dylan Thompson is more likely to work the middle of the field and get the ball to the tight ends than his predecessor.

Trivia:
A graduate of Scott's Branch High School, Adams was the first-ever player from his school to play in the Shrine Bowl, where he caught three touchdown passes.

Beat writer's terrible double-meaning lede:
The name "Jerell" means strong. That's exactly what Jerell Adams has proven to be throughout the season, as the Pinewood, S.C. native has emerged from riding the pine behind Busta Anderson to be one of the SEC's best tight ends.