The Best Ever: CB Johnny Adams

Over the next week I am going to do a series on current Spartans who have a chance to be the best ever at their position to wear the Green and White.  Johnny Adams said he wants to be the best corner back ever at MSU.  Running back Edwin Baker set goal of 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns for this season, and he is dead serious about it.  BJ Cunningham is 10 catches away from being the all-time leading receiver at MSU.  While all three of those could happen, with varying degrees of likelihood, QB Kirk Cousins actually has the greatest chance to be the best MSU has ever had.

First up in the series is #5 Johnny Adams CB, Jr.

[caption id="attachment_50" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Johnny Adams CB #5"][/caption]

If you were to pick the easiest position to be the best that MSU has ever had the choice would probably be corner.  You'd only have to beat out fantastic players like Jaren Hayes.  Johnny Adams told me that a goal of his is "to win a Jim Thorpe Award (for best DB in college football).  That could be something that I don't think has been done here at Michigan State."  Adams walks a fine line between being right and not being wrong.  No, an MSU DB has never won the award; however, Brad Van Pelt won the Maxwell Award as a safety in 1972 given to the most outstanding collegiate football player.  But luckily for Adams he said best corner back, not best safety.  And like I said, historically MSU doesn't have many great corners.  Current defensive backs coach Harlon Barnett is the most decorated CB from MSU.  Barnett was a first team All-American in 1989, but he only finished his career with 6 interceptions (Adams currently has 5 after 2 years and is nowhere close to career leader Lynn Chandnois' 20).

[caption id="attachment_51" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Safety Brad Van Pelt won the Maxwell Award in 1972"][/caption]

So what does Adams need to do to leave as the greatest?  "I just need to go out there every day and get better.  Play hard, know my keys, do a lot of things that a lot of corners here haven’t done."  Well that's a start.  One thing corners here haven't done lately is pick off passes.  Last years total of 17 interceptions was great and led to all 4 starting DBs getting All-Big Ten honors.  The year before that: 6.  In fact over the last 5 years MSU has averaged 11.4 interceptions per season.  That should read "less than one per game."

Johnny does have great potential and he is still a junior eligibility wise.  As DB Coach Harlon Barnett put it, "The next step for Johnny is going to be consistency, focus each and every day and each and every game.  He had a good year last year but knew it could have been better.  He had a really good spring.  I’m looking forward to it carrying over into the season."

I'd settle for improvement over last year where he had 50 tackles, 3 interceptions, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery while making 2nd Team All-Big Ten as a sophomore.  With Trenton Robinson helping him over the top and a defensive line primed to put pressure on the QB, I think Johnny is set to move up to 1st team this year and be a guy nobody wants to throw at as a senior.

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