The day Colton “Bubba” Adams took his official college football visit at Alabama State, the skies over his hometown of Wetumpka were being fissured by lightning, dark and heavy clouds posed as intimidating figures across the skyline, and violent winds whipped wildly, moving northeast across the Coosa River.
It was the making of EF-2 tornado. Winds reached highs of 135 miles per hour, causing structures to collapses, vehicles to be tossed and trees to be uprooted.
And not to make light of a very serious situation, but Bubba was very familiar with it all. It looked exactly like himself when the ball is snapped: stoning lead blockers, overwhelming backs as he runs them down sideline to sideline, and playing with an intensity that rivals that January 19, 2019 storm.
Before Bubba made the decision to commit to ASU that day, he had offers from Tuskegee, Centre, LaGrange, Morgan State, and Gardner-Webb to consider.
He narrowed his final two options to ASU and Tuskegee, state rivals and more significantly, historically black colleges (HBCUs).
Ultimately, his selection of either school, though Bubba chose ASU, was an unusual choice for a white inside linebacker, as 95 percent of HCBU football rosters are black and 76 percent of their campuses are as well, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
“I knew it was an HBCU, but it really didn’t matter to me,” said Adams, a freshman. “I got a chance at a scholarship and to go to play football and continue my dream.”
That’s just who Bubba is — a ball player with one objective: compete, win and hit everything in sight. It’s been like that as long as he could remember, he said.
At the age of 4, Bubba began to gravitate to football. His brother Chase, a year older than him, played, but at the time Adams wan’t old enough to meet the age requirement.
Consequently, a competitive edge burned inside him, and after getting acclimated to the game his first season at age 5, he said by the time he was 6 he was “putting people in the car,” as kids retreated to their parents vehicles “crying.”
“He just wants to hit,” his father, Donnie Adams said. “His motor doesn’t stop, and where some kids will take off a play he’s not taking off a play … he was coming downhill and he was coming.”
This illustration is not just a picture of Bubba as a young kid, but a defining characteristic of a young man locked in a never-ending pursuit of more. He expects to hit everything in life and hit it hard.