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September 17, 2013

Top Dawg #75

Whether for the great UGA backs who ran through
his opened holes, or the numerous people off the 
field, Adams (No. 75) touched the lives of many.
As many of you are likely aware, Scott Adams passed away suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday in Oconee County.  The former standout UGA offensive lineman was just 46 years old and leaves behind wife Tishara and a young daughter, Dyllan.
 
When I think of Adams, I first recall how instrumental he was in paving the way for some of the best Bulldog backs of all time.  The Lake City, Florida native started 24 regular-season games over three seasons (1986-1988) and at three different positions 16 starts at left tackle, six at right guard, and two at right tackle, while opening holes for 1,000-yard career rushers Lars Tate, Rodney Hampton, Tim Worley, Keith Henderson, Larry Ware, James Jackson, and David McCluskey.  Standing at 6-foot-6, Adams was also always one of the taller Bulldogs on the team, if not the tallest.
 
Entering his final collegiate campaign, Adams was one of just five Bulldogs elected by his peers to serve on the team's "seniors committee."  The team leader responded by earning All-SEC honors for the 1988 season.
 
After a stint in the World Football League, the undrafted Adams made the Minnesota Vikings team in 1992 as a 26-year-old NFL rookie; he was starting for the Vikings the very next season at right guard.  Adams saw playing time in the league with New Orleans, Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta through the 1997 season.
 
I also knew of Scott Adams, who worked in the mortgage business while living in Watkinsville, because of his involvement in the local community.  However, I didn't know him never even met the man.  Therefore, I felt compelled to reach out to someone who did, and contacted one of the great Bulldogs backs Adams once blocked for and knew well Tim Worley, an All-American tailback in 1988.
 
"Scott Adams was a versatile warrior," Tim told me.  "He could play any position on the offensive line.  Scott was a major contributor to my success as an All-American running back at Georgia.  Without Scott and the offensive line that I ran behind at UGA, I could have never accomplished what I was able to accomplish.  Scott was also just an awesome human being that people loved to be around.  He was full of life, full of energy, always revved up in the huddle and whenever you saw him, you were ready to play.  Scott was also one of the most talkative lineman I've ever played with on the field.  And, he backed up what he talked.  But the most important thing about Scott is that he was a man of God.  I love you Scott.  You will be missed.  Top Dawg #75."
 
In searching for old articles on Adams, I discovered one that especially grabbed my attention.  In 1995, the city of Athens hosted a benefit for the American Cancer Society for those living with the disease.  And, even though he was playing in Chicago with the Bears at the time, Adams, whose father had died of cancer, was an integral part of the event.
 
Adams had experienced firsthand what the terrible disease does to its victim and family.  "We just wanted to do something to raise some money for the families," Adams had simply stated.
 
Scott Adams will be missed dearly by those close to him, and even by those who didn't even know him.  However, I have a feeling there were plenty of those anxiously awaiting his arrival in the next life, including a father he hadn't seen in decades.  Adams was the epitome of a true "Top Dawg," whether on the gridiron, or off it. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Patrick,
Wonderful piece on a great player, but most importantly person, that I knew long ago. I played for Georgia (but not much) in three of the four seasons Scott lettered, and got to know him well.

Talk about adversity! Scott started the opener of his soph. season (I think we played Duke) when the usual starter couldn't go. When the normal starter returned, Scott was again a reserve. In the middle of that season, Scott was dropped to the scout team after disciplinary issues. But, when Wilbur Strozier went down early in a win at Auburn, Scott was again a 1st teamer. The photo you have is of him blocking for Lars Tate in starting the very next game vs. Tech in '86. He would start every single game for the rest of his UGA career!

I hadn't talked to Scott in probably 15-16 years since a reunion some time during the 90s. And I will always regret I didn't reach out to him before his passing.

You never know when it's your time. Unfortunately for many of us, Scott's time came way to quickly.