CHESHIRE, Conn. - Cheshire (Conn.) Cheshire Academy wide receiver Joshua Adams didn't have to wait like everyone else to get an invitation to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl which will be held in San Antonio on Jan. 3, 2009. He earned his offer last January at the Junior Combine. As the Offensive MVP of the combine, the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder earned an automatic spot on the 2009 game roster. On Thursday, he received his All-American jersey at a ceremony at his school.
"It's an honor to be part of the game and I'm proud to represent New England down there," he said. "Everyone thinks New England football isn't very good compared to other areas but I want to show them they're wrong. I've played in Massachusetts and now in Connecticut and I want to have a good showing down in San Antonio to prove that we can play ball up here."
The big wideout thanked his parents, his coaches and the U.S. Army upon receiving his jersey and received a standing ovation from the student body. He had 56 catches for 1,131 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior and also participated in basketball and track at Cheshire. Adams started his high school career at Cambridge (Mass.) Cambridge Rindge & Latin before transferring to Cheshire Academy for his final year. The move to the Connecticut prep school away from home has been good for Adams.
"I think it has made me more mature and more ready for college," he said. "Being away from home and on my own socially and academically forced me to grow up a bit. I had to make my own way here and I've experience a lot of new things, things I wouldn't have had to deal with had I stayed. I think it's been great for me."
His head coach, Dan O'Dea, had plenty of good things to say about his star player.
"Josh is a hard worker and he came in here and really adapted well," said O'Dea. "He's obviously a huge reason why we've had a big year (8-1) and this is a great honor for him and for the school."
Adams has been proving himself since he burst onto the scene following his freshman year of high school when he went down to Gainesville and was named the MVP of Florida's summer camp.
"A lot of people thought that was a fluke and that some kid from Massachusetts couldn't be that good," he said. "So I've been trying to prove myself and continue to try to prove myself. I went down to San Antonio last January for the combine with the intention of showing my ability and I feel good about it. Now I hope to do the same thing this January in the actual game."
Adams committed to Butch Davis and North Carolina very early in the recruiting process and has stuck to his guns despite interest from many different schools. Adams will be an early enrollee in Chapel Hill and expects to get on the field sooner than later.
"I can't wait to get down there," he said. "I have been watching the offense develop and I hope to step into the role of Hakeem Nicks as a big, physical wide receiver who can make big plays. Some schools continue to recruit me and I've heard the rumors that coach Davis is a candidate for the Tennessee job, but I don't think he's going anywhere. Things are really coming together down there and I'm excited to be a part of it."