The news D’Marcus Adams had been waiting for finally came last week.
After nearly eight months of waiting, Adams — a redshirt sophomore wide receiver who joined FAU from Florida State — got the call from Owls coach Willie Taggart that the NCAA approved his transfer waiver.
His excitement was palpable during a teleconference with reporters Tuesday, four days after he made the announcement on social media that he’ll be eligible to play this season after enrolling at Florida Atlantic in January.
“When you get a call from the head coach, you know it’s something serious,” Adams said with a grin, with the news meaning he’ll be eligible for the Owls' season and home opener versus Charlotte on Saturday. “When I got the call and I heard the news, I just started smiling. My cheeks were hurting so much.”
Adams once again has the opportunity to play for Taggart, who coached the 6-foot receiver during his two seasons with FSU.
He had other ties to the Owls' coaching staff besides Taggart before he joined the program. Rick Trickett, who served as Adams' primary recruiter with FSU according to 247 Sports, is the father of Clint Trickett, FAU’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Adams, who was ranked as the No. 74 prospect in Florida in the 2018 recruiting class by 247 Sports, also mentioned FAU’s proximity to his hometown of Ormond Beach as a reason playing for the Owls appealed to him.
“It wasn’t too far from home. You always got to consider that,” Adams said. “It’s a great team that has a history of winning championships. I thought that was a great fit.”
Adams said the possibility of not being able to play this season made him “very sad” because he hasn’t played in a football game since his senior season at Mainland High School.
He redshirted his freshman year with the Seminoles in 2018 and didn’t play in a game his second season before entering the transfer portal in September 2019.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding his eligibility this season, Adams didn’t let that stop him from impressing his teammates and coaches during practices.
“With everything going on that he had to deal with, he still came every day with the right mindset trying to get better and be coachable,” said TJ Chase, a graduate student wide receiver who transferred from Clemson. “Even though he was waiting on [the waiver], his spirit was always up. It was never down. For him to get that opportunity to go out there and play, it’s a big step for him and he deserves it. He’ll do a lot of great things out there.”
Adams attributed his ability to stay focused despite not knowing for several months if he’d play this year to his “band of brothers”.
“The brotherhood of this team,” he said, “they uplift me every day.”
As for what Adams will bring to the team, one of the first things that caught Drew Mehringer’s attention is his speed.
“Any time you have a guy who has linear speed like D’Marcus does, you got to find a way to stretch the field vertically or horizontally,” FAU’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach said. “He kind of glides across the ground. It doesn’t look like he’s running hard, but then you’re like 'ahh, he’s running really fast.” It’s pretty crazy."
Mehringer described Adams' kind of speed as the “down the field, 100-meter true track speed,” which can be attributed to Adams' track career.
He won medals in four events as a senior at the FHSAA Class 3A meet, including the 400-meter dash, and competed for the Seminoles' track team during his true freshman season.
“You don’t know he’s eligible so you have to build a game plan assuming he’s not going to be there,” Mehringer said. "And then bam, he’s there, and you’re like ‘great, we get to do this stuff, too.’
“We have a pretty good idea of what he can and can’t do, and it’s exciting to finally be able to play someone else and see a different color.”
©2020 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.