Good things come to those who work hard.
That has been the case for ESPNU 150 Watch List defensive tackle Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County), who, even at a young age was blessed with size. And everyone from the small town of Vienna, Ga., knew big things were possible for Adams.
"I knew it his freshman season here at Dooly," said Jamaal Zanders, the team's defensive back coach. "He was so big then. He had to be 6-foot-2. I know his family. The men in his family are enormous, all 6-5, 6-6. He just had to grow into his frame and work and that's exactly what he did."
The work has paid off and then some. Adams is now 6-4 -- pushing 6-5 -- and weighs 290 pounds. His coaches say he's already a qualifier academically. His first three seasons on the field and his quality academics have made him one of the hottest prospects in the region. According to Zanders, Adams has scholarship offers from every SEC team except LSU and Vanderbilt, as well as Florida State, Clemson, Miami, USC, TCU and Michigan State.
"I have always wanted this so badly," Adams said. "I have worked hard for it. Honestly, I had no idea I would have these kinds of opportunities. But I always wanted to make it happen and I knew it would only come with hard work."
This past season was an extraordinary one for Adams. He finished with an astounding 45 tackles for a loss, 84 tackles and 10 sacks, including nine tackles for a loss in a single game.
"I have coached ball in Georgia for a long time," Dooly County head coach Jimmy Hughes said. "I was at Crisp County for a while and we had some players. We played against teams like Americus back in the day and they had some players. But what he did last season, I have never seen anything like it. Amazing."
Hughes credits a few things about Adams. First, there's no denying his size, but he's also blessed with athleticism. In fact, Adams is also Dooly County's starting left fielder on the baseball team.
"It's crazy," Hughes said. "He has to be the biggest left fielder there is. I know he's the biggest guy in this area. And he moves well out there and he has a heck of an arm."
Perhaps his best attribute at this time is his quickness. Adams is the first guy off the ball, very good at the point of attack and you can't run away from him because he will just chase down the ball.
"That's the thing about this past season," Hughes said. "He made all those plays behind the line of scrimmage and teams were always running away from him. I would bet you he made most of those tackles for a loss in pursuit on the backside. He's just too big and too fast and he's got the best take off. The kid is so quick off the ball. I know one thing; we can never get anything done in practice because he just destroys everything."
Adams' play has also caught the attention of the state. He plays in single A ball and still earned a spot in the Rising Seniors All-Star Game in January. There, he earned the respect of everyone with his play in practice and in the game itself.
"He went and competed against the best of the best from Georgia and did an excellent job all week," Zanders said. "He made a name for himself that week. And coming off the season he had, that gave him a lot of momentum when recruiting started for his class. That's a big reason why he's gotten so much early attention. That was our plan; his plan. That was the recipe."
Adams has been to junior days at Clemson and Auburn. He was scheduled to visit Alabama this past weekend but was unable to attend because of family commitments. Over the next two weeks he plans on visiting both Florida and Georgia. For Adams, he's just happy to have this opportunity, to see these schools and get a head start on the recruiting process. He will tell you that he's wide open but at this time there are a trio of schools that intrigue him.
"Clemson was the first school that jumped on me and offered," Adams said. "I have been there a few times and I like them a lot. I think I fit in well there.
"I love the scheme at Georgia. It's close to home and the staff there is great.
"USC is a team that I have always loved because I grew up a huge Reggie Bush fan. I mean I loved him back then and I have just been a huge fan of that program ever since."
Hughes believes that whoever lands Adams, not only is landing a diamond in the rough, but a young man who knows how much academics mean in the long run. And Adams is a young rising senior. He turned 17 in July.
"Whoever he chooses is going to get a young man that's got a whole lot to learn," Hughes said. "But they are also getting a guy that is so blessed, so raw, so talented and moves so well. Montravius has this burning desire to be better and to be the best. He's such a hard worker and so well grounded. And what's most impressive is that he's interested in academics and knows there's life after the game of football is over."
Adams, who has invites from all the major All-American games next January, says he will play in the Under Armour All-America Game. Before his trip to Florida, he has his senior season this fall. He knows that replicating what he did as a junior will be tough to do, but he's up for the challenge.
"I guess it was a pretty good year last season," Adams said. "But I know I could have played better. I should have played better. I just know I have to keep working hard and I have to top what I did last season. I have to."
Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at email@example.com.