‘Trust the journey, trust the course’: VSU safety optimistic about call from NFL team during draft
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The second and third rounds of the NFL draft are set for Friday night, and several athletes from Central Virginia have high hopes of getting that coveted phone call.
However, there is one Henrico athlete who is shining in an especially bright way, potentially making history in recent years.
Will Adams, a Safety at Virginia State University (VSU), caught the eyes of several NFL scouts. That’s significant this year as, during the 2021 NFL draft, no players from any Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) were taken during the draft.
“I definitely wouldn’t change any portion of my journey,” Adams said.
It’s a rare sight at Elkin Sports Performance as Adams jogs across the indoor turf. His shoes and Jason Elkin’s voice were the only sounds echoing across the empty gym.
The 24-year-old has trained at the E. Parham Road location for a few years, under Elkin’s direction.
“I’ve gotten stronger,” Adams said. “I’ve gotten faster, and I’ve just improved on every aspect.”
The drive to improve courses through Adams’ veins. It’s seen in the endless hours he spends training as he chases the pinnacle of going pro in the NFL.
“Just to have that dream come true where I can play the game as a career, something that I can do, that I love as a career, man, that is just awesome,” he said.
That chance could come within the next 24 hours.
“Anything can happen, right?” Elkin told Adams.
It’s predicted the VSU safety could be drafted in the later rounds.
“It’s definitely a different experience,” Adams said. “I’m trying to get the jitters out.”
This chance all because Adams caught the attention of scouts when he had a first of its kind opportunity to attend the HBCU combine in January followed by the Legacy Bowl in February.
“Both those situations allowed all teams to put eyes on these men who have worked so hard, just as hard as some of these DI kids, if not harder because they’re not going to have the same opportunities, the same vision, the same eyes on them,” Elkin said.
“That was just awesome for HBCU players to have somewhere to showcase their talents,” Adams said.
It’s a challenge previous HBCU players have faced, but with the opportunity available this year Adams seized it.
“Our slogan is always outwork them all, and Will 100% epitomizes what that is,” Elkin said.
According to NFL.com, Adams was among the top five standouts from the HBCU combine.
He went 10 feet, 3 inches in the broad jump and 40.5-inches in the vertical leap, the latter something that impressed even himself!
“I really jumped out of the gym on that one,” Adams said. “I really wasn’t expecting to jump that high.”
NFL.com reports he completed 21 reps on the 225-pound bench press and completed a 4.57 40-yard dash.
“You know, you’re going to have bumps in the road, some ups and downs, but trust the journey, trust the course,” Adams said.
The Hermitage High School graduate remains optimistic he will get a call from a team. Adams grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan, so would love the opportunity to play for them. However, he said any chance to continue his love for the game, he would accept an offer without hesitation.
Meanwhile, Elkin had the following words for the NFL coaches:
“If they bring Will Adams onto their team, he will show up - lunch pale guy. He’s gonna be there to work every single day, because he knows what the opportunity is, and it’s not too big for him. He understands what he’s going to have to do - that his road may be a little bit harder - but yet those are the best ones, because the reward at the end of it is going to be tremendous.”
The NFL Draft continues Friday and Saturday.
Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.
Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.