Jan. 9, 2001
Clemson, SC–Clemson junior linebacker Keith Adams announced Tuesday that he will forego his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft. Adams had a chance to become the first three-time first-team All-American in school history had he come back for the 2001 season, but he decided to enter the NFL draft this April.
After evaluating information provided to me and after consulting my family and some NFL people, I have decided to forego my senior year and enter the 2001 NFL draft,” said Adams. “I want to first give glory to God for giving me the talents to be in this position. I also want to thank my parents (Julius and Pat). I also want to thank Coach Tommy Bowden. The last two seasons have been very exciting and rewarding. I also want to thank Coach Reggie Herring, who has done so much for my career and development as a football player. I also want to thank all of my teammates. Without them I could never have reached this day.
“Being around the guys the last three year, I have really enjoyed my experience at Clemson. This was the best possible place for me. I will always cherish my time at Clemson. “But, I feel this is the best decision for me. I feel I am ready to go on to the NFL.
Adams, a native of College Park, GA, finished his Clemson career as the #6 ranked tackler in history with 379. He had 148 tackles this year and finished sixth in the nation in tackles per game. He was a finalist for the Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker) and the Chuck Bednarick Award (nation’s top defensive player). He had 19 tackles for loss in 2000, and finished with 54 for his career, third in Clemson history, trailing only the Perry Brothers (Michael Dean and Williams). He had seven sacks in 2000 and finished his Clemson career tied for third in that category.
Adams had 186 tackles, 35 tackles for loss and 16 sacks as a sophomore in 1999. He led the nation in tackles and tackles for loss and finished second in quarterback sacks. Over his last two years he had at least one tackles for loss in 23 of 24 games, including a record 20 consecutive games at one stretch. He finished his Clemson career with 14 school records, including most tackles in a game and a season, most sacks in a game and a season, and most tackles for loss in a game and a season.
“Keith has been a very productive player for us in my two years at Clemson and I wish him the best,” said Bowden. “He has made a lot of tackles, but he has also been a big contributor when it comes to the intangibles. Keith has a great work ethic and that rubbed off on his teammates. He represented the school well and will be missed.”
Adams is the ninth player in Clemson history to give up his senior year for the NFL draft. The others who have done it are Terry Allen (1989), Dexter Davis (1990), Chris Gardocki (1990), Ronald Williams (1992), Trevor Pryce (1996), Anthony Simmons (1997), Rahim Abdullah (1998), and Corey Hulsey (1998).
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