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Adams makes it official
South standout signs with Kentucky
Brian Adams Signs 2 es
Brian Adams dons a University of Kentucky hat bearing the signatures of his South Forsyth High School football teammates during a celebration of his signing with the Wildcats program. - photo by Emily Saunders
For Brian Adams, his new Kentucky home is a lot closer to reality this week.

Adams signed on the dotted line bright and early Wednesday, his earliest opportunity to sign a binding letter of intent to play football at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

"We just sent it this morning about 7 and just faxed it up to Kentucky and ... we're all set to go, so it's real exciting. I guess it's all coming true for me now, so it just kind of feels real," Adams said during a small celebration at his parents' home Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4 South Forsyth senior is looking forward to the next chapter of his career, after his senior high school season didn't go as planned.

Adams, the War Eagles' starting quarterback, separated his left shoulder in the fourth game of the season last September, forcing him to undergo surgery and miss his last six games as a senior.

"I would say it's a really big disappointment not to play my senior year of high school. Obviously I wanted to play, but I had to do what's best for my college career, for my future," Adams said.

More than four months later, Adams says he's 100 percent cleared to play at Kentucky, where he's slated to be a wide receiver. In fact, he says his left shoulder is now the stronger of the two, and credits his work with Jeff Lewandowski, a physical therapist based in Suwanee, for the complete recovery.

On Wednesday, Adams headed to the ESPN Zone in Atlanta, where he met with four other Wildcat recruits from Georgia for a radio event based around National Signing Day.

Adams said spending time with his future teammates — linebackers Qua Huzzie and Tristian Johnson (LaGrange), offensive lineman Kevin Mitchell (Alexander) and tight end Terrell Mitchell (McEachern) — was a great experience.

"They seem like real nice guys, I'm really excited about our program up there," Adams said.

"They're doing a great job recruiting. Seems like everybody's just great kids all around. I cannot wait to get up there."

Even current players like quarterback Randall Cobb and receiver DeMoreo Ford have taken time to speak to him and make him feel welcome during visits to Kentucky, Adams said.

"They don't have to do that. They're in college and they just take time to see a [future] freshman, so it's really important to me ... Kind of just makes me feel at home."

Adams credits plenty of people for helping him get to this point, including a string of coaches and mentors stretching back to his middle-school days.

Among those are Paul Smith, who was Adams' football coach for two seasons at South Forsyth Middle.

Smith, currently coaching at Little Mill Middle, says one of his favorite memories was of Adams' first game as an eighth-grader. South Middle had lost most of its talent to newly-opened Riverwatch Middle, with only Adams left behind.

In the first game of the season, South and Riverwatch played each other, with Adams leading a less-talented Eagle squad to victory.

"Without him, we wouldn't have [won that game]," Smith said.

"Even in seventh grade, he was a great leader and very determined, and even on a team that wasn't very strong his eighth grade year, he had a will to win and he did everything that he could to get them to that point."

Adams was tall for his age even then, but as he's gotten older, he's bulked up to match his height, Smith said.

Kentucky lists him at 210 pounds, which places him near the top of the scale among the school's non-lineman recruits this year.

Smith says that seeing Adams make it to an SEC program might even test his loyalty a bit — at least when Georgia and Kentucky aren't playing each other, in which case he'll just pull for Adams to have a big day individually.

"He's the first kid that I've ever coached that's signed with a big school. It's really exciting. I'm a big Georgia fan, but I'll have to start rooting for Kentucky now."