Tre’Davious White awoke Sunday morning with a text message from LSU safety Jamal Adams.
The message included a photo of Adams crushing Kentucky safety A.J. Stamps on a peelback block last Saturday that sprung White for a 67-yard touchdown on a punt return.
“You’re welcome,” the message read with a smiley face attached.
Adams’ smashing shot sent Stamps crumbling to the ground, had White safely in the end zone and incited a loud “ooooh” from thousands of fans in Tiger Stadium.
For George Adams, this was more of the same from his hard-hitting son.
After all, Jamal stopped pee-wee football games with his jaw-dropping blocks and tackles and sent kids to the hospital as early as 8-years-old.
“It’s not like he’s never done that before,” George Adams said.
He’s now doing it on the biggest of stages.
No. 24 LSU (6-2, 2-2 Southeastern) hosts No. 3 Ole Miss (7-0, 4-0) in a showdown Saturday night in Tiger Stadium, and the Rebels might be asking themselves a question.
“Who is No. 33?” coach Les Miles said earlier this week. “They go look him up in the program because simply put, he is making plays wherever you line him up at.”
That includes deep safety, the pass-rushing Mustang man and a head-hunting special teams maniac.
A freshman from Texas, Adams’ role on this team has steadily increased.
He began as a rotating second-string player at safety who saw limited snaps, many of them on special teams. A season-ending injury to Dwayne Thomas moved him into the nickelback role, a fifth defensive back on passing downs.
Most recently, Adams has been moved from the nickelback role to a deep safety when LSU is in that package. He’s on the field for the Mustang, too, as LSU’s sixth defensive back. He’s the pass-rushing guy who charges to the line of scrimmage and often blitzes into the backfield.
“He loves it,” George Adams said.
Jamal Adams, like most LSU freshmen, are unavailable for interviews during the week, but he spoke after Saturday’s 41-3 win over Kentucky, calling his early days at LSU “hectic” and “overwhelmingly fast.”
Things are slowing down now. Well, not him, of course.
“He has a motor that don’t stop,” White said. “He’s been doing that all year, giving his body up for the team on special teams.”
Adams was ranked as the No. 2 safety in the nation out of high school last year, according to composite ranking from 24/7 Sports. He chose LSU over Florida, Texas and Ole Miss, the Tigers’ opponent Saturday.
Why LSU? George Adams said Jamal had enjoyed watching LSU games on television as a 7 or 8-year-old kid.
“I just like how they play,” little Jamal told his dad.
Jamal – his dad calls him “J” – played running back and safety during his entire football career, but George Adams began shifting his son’s focus to defense.
George Adams played running back for Kentucky and then for the New York Giants in the 1980s. He didn’t want his son to suffer the after effects of being a running back.
George has had two hip replacements and has bad knees and ankles.
“Running backs take a lick every play,” George said.
His son is the one delivering the licks now – like the crushing one on Stamps. Adams blindsided the safety. There is an audible “oooooh” from the crowd and then a roar as White slipped through blocks down the sideline for the score.
White did respond to that text message.
“I texted him back and said, ‘Thank you,’” a smiling White said this week.
Jamal has been doing this stuff since age 4, George said, but he really took off while playing for the GA Giants from age 6 to 13.
He was known around that pee-wee league for his brutal, bashing blocks and tackles.
“He used to stop our games,” George said. “The guys used to stop our games and tell us (Jamal is) hurting people and we can’t do this.”
Then there was the time when Adams missed a tackle on a running back. George Adams called a timeout after the play, ready to chastise his son. Jamal never gave him the chance.
“He said, ‘Dad, before you start, I got this,’” George said Jamal told him.
Three players later, Adams hit that running back so hard that he flipped into the air.
“They had to come and get the kid,” George said.
Jamal was a sixth-grader by the time his reputation around the league was one of pure fear. A coach for an opposing team told his receiver to run a post route in a game against the GA Giants.
The kid told him no.
“Kid said, ‘I don’t do that,’” George Adams said. “‘Coach I can’t run no more posts because that Jamal Adams hit me and made me go to the hospital.’”