After his final spring game with the Washington Huskies on Saturday afternoon, Trey Adams slowly headed toward the tunnel toward the locker room.
He was tired. His uniform was drenched in sweat. And he was ready to take it easy the rest of the night.
On the way, Adams looked up and saw former teammate Kaleb McGary staring him down from the sideline, wearing the hat of the team that had just selected him Thursday night in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft – the Atlanta Falcons.
The two offensive tackles talked briefly before Adams headed off to get dressed.
Since Adams will likely be a hot name for the 2020 NFL Draft, they will surely get caught up again over the next few months.
“I am going to get with him after he’s done with mini-camp to see what (the NFL Draft process) was like,” Adams said. “I mean, it is in the back of my mind, but it is also not a big worry right now. I am happy to be healthy and playing.”
A year ago at this time, Adams, a Wenatchee High School graduate, was thought to be the Huskies’ top offensive lineman prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Some analysts thought the 6-foot-8, 306-pounder had top-10 potential as a left tackle. Most figured he would be gone by early in the second round.
But a few days before the UW’s season opener against Auburn, Adams suffered a serious back injury that required surgery. Not only was his season in jeopardy, his NFL dreams were suddenly on hold.
Yet, for the 10 weeks that Adams was sidelined, something happened. He began to realize how much football meant to him.
“If anything, it inspires you more, because when you are injured, you get to sit back and see all the stuff that goes on,” Adams said. “And here, the train kept rolling. To miss out on that stuff, it definitely pumped me up.”
Adams did return for the final four games last season, including the Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State. And this spring, he has been a full participant during UW’s spring camp.
His back has felt great. And his attitude has been contagious.
“He has a different energy about him because he doesn’t have to worry about his body,” said UW center Nick Harris, who is also Adams’ roommate. “He is getting back in that (groove).”
Harris said he knew Adams was thinking long and hard about the NFL again because all he does is talk about football – at home and in the linemen’s room.
“The guy loves football damn near more than me – and I love football,” Harris said. “The guy wants to play in the NFL, he is going to play in the NFL and he is going to play for a long time, because his perseverance and his will to do so is pretty impressive.”
If you don’t believe Adams will be in the NFL, just study his body language. It is obvious in the way he carries himself, said future NFL Draft tight-end hopeful Hunter Bryant.
“You can see it with how he walks around,” Bryant said.