Jackson Adams had no idea he would one day be piloting the Greenwood High School football team’s explosive rushing offense.
It wasn’t until his seventh grade season that he would take his first ever snap and wouldn’t be until eighth grade that he fully transformed into the position. After taking over the quarterback duties both of his two middle school seasons because of injuries to first-stringers, Adams has thrived as Greenwood’s offensive pilot the past three years.
“I remember my seventh grade season – I had never played quarterback in my life – and our quarterback got hurt and coach asked me to come play it,” he said. “I wasn’t very good, but I improved my eighth grade year and I when I got into high school (the coaches) said we were gonna run the ball at quarterback.
“I said, ‘I think that might be for me’ … and here we are now.”
Here he is, indeed. Adams earned the starting role during summer workouts in 2014 and, just being a younger player, he struggled to find a groove. He said that “he didn’t know” what high school football was going to be like and that lack of familiarity made him feel “extremely distraught” with his performance that season.
Adams may have had one mediocre year on the field, but ever since then he has been running all over opposing defenses and has made himself known all around the Kentucky prep landscape. And although he has rushed for over 3,000 years and scored nearly 50 touchdowns for a team that has was 22 games in the past three years, Adams gives credit to head coach Chris Seabolt for the Gators’ success.
“I think it’s coach Seabolt,” said Adams of what makes his club’s offense a successful one. “I think the way he explains it and the way he has made us understand the offense’s purpose has really clicked with our football team and we have continued to keep building on that.”
The Gators went 4-7 in Adams’ debut season but have since put together 9-3 records the last two years, respectively. Of Greenwood’s 10,277 recorded yards from 2013 to now, an astounding 9,116 have come on the ground – and Adams is responsible for 3,668 of that tally.
If it wasn’t for Greenwood’s strong offensive line throughout this time, the program – and Jackson Adams – wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the many things they have, said the Gators’ fifth-year playcaller.
“People look at Jackson, who has over 3,000 yards the last two years, and the reason is that is because of our line up front. We have a very selfless offense and you have to do what the line allows. You have to read everything correctly.”
For Gator senior offensive guard and center Lawson Fletcher, he says seeing Adams take an option downfield into the end zone shows that he and his fellow linemen have blocked as they should for their star quarterback.
“It’s definitely stress-relieving,” he said. “You always want the coaches happy and I think it pushes you to know you did something right and that we need to keep doing that (for Adams to continue to run and score).”
Opposing defenses limited Adams in 2014 from rushing the way he did the past two seasons, but he said he continues to feel more pressured by opponents in each game he plays.
Although Adams claims defenses are over him, he makes it look the exact opposite – mainly because of how Greenwood constantly flips its options to confuse teams.
“I feel like teams were putting eight guys in the box more often (the last two seasons) and changing up fronts different than we have seen in previous years,” said Adams. “I understand how to execute the offense and have my own techniques and have cut down on mistakes.”
The quarterback begins his fourth and final season of high school football on Aug. 18 at Warren Central. Following that opener, Adams and Greenwood will meet Warren East the following Saturday in the inaugural Citizens First Bowl at Western Kentucky University’s Houchens-Smith Stadium.
As he is looking forward to what he hopes is another stellar season, Adams says it’ll be tough to walk away from the game he loves when it is all said and done.
“It’s gonna be tough because this is an environment that I enjoy,” he said. “It’s gonna be hard to adjust at first, but I think I’ll be okay at the end.”
Adams also provided advice for upcoming kids with aspirations of being quarterbacks one day: “Treat every practice like it’s a game. Make it as real as possible because in games it’s the real deal. So just be prepared for what is to come.”
And when it is all said and done, Jackson Adams will be remembered as one of the best rushing quarterbacks to ever come out of this area.