Guest Column #3: The Travels of Mike Adams

In anticipation of Reader Appreciation Week, we asked for article submissions for a guest column spot right here on BB&G.  We got quite a few worthy submissions from which we’ve selected our three favorite.  Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to our selected few.

By  Justin Manns

With the 56th pick of the 2012 NFL draft The Pittsburgh Steelers select Mike Adams, Tackle, The Ohio State University.

Many things had to go right for this scenario to play out exactly the way it did last Friday night, and, in my opinion, both parties (the Steelers and Adams) will benefit from this peculiar sequence of events.

Mike Adams committed to the buckeyes on March 3rd of 2007 from Dublin Coffman High School, only about a 10 min drive from where his rocky college career would take place. He entered the University as the number 2 offensive tackle prospect that year. In 2008, Adams started 4 games as true freshmen before being sidelined with a shoulder injury. Then in January of 2009, mike was stopped by campus police for running a stop sign and cited for drug paraphernalia. The paraphernalia charges where dropped however when substance tests came back negative. Subsequently, he was suspended for the first two games of the upcoming season for team’s rules violations. He did start 4 games in the middle of the season before being sidelined with a knee injury for the remainder of the year.

As the 2010 season got underway, Adams began living up to all the hype that surrounded him coming out of high school as a 6’7”, 323lb prototypical, left tackle. He started all 13 games that year and earned First Team All Big Ten accolades along with winning 3 Jim Parker linemen of the week awards. However, prior to the bowl game that year news broke of the Ohio State memorabilia scandal and Adams was named as one of the 5 OSU players who sold personal possessions for tattoos and cash to a local Columbus “business man.” Following an NCAA investigation, Adams was suspended for the first 5 games of the 2011 season and finished out his senior year starting the last 7 games. Despite his shortened season, he still earned Second Team All Big Ten honors.

However, Adams troubles didn’t end there. He reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the combine in April destroying Adams already questionable draft stock and seemingly ending all hope of Adams playing for his favorite NFL franchise, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Reports surfaced of Mike being removed from numerous draft boards including the Steelers, which were seemingly confirmed by Pittsburgh General Manager Kevin Colbert.

Following all of the troubles that surrounded him, Mike took it upon himself to try and rectify the situation prior to the beginning of the draft. He sent a letter to the Steelers organization apologizing profusely for not only the positive test but for lying in the face of the GM and coaches during the one-on-one interviews at the combine about the last time he had partook in marijuana use. He then requested another meeting. It was reported that Tomlin, Colbert and Art Rooney II granted this request and met with him face to face. They laid out a plan for Adams and the criteria he must follow to become a successful member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Adams must have impressed the organization in that meeting, because it is well known the Steelers do not draft prospects of questionable character or tolerate troubled players. A recent example includes another Ohio State alum, Santonio Holmes. In the end, the Steelers provide Adams with the stability he needs in Mike Tomlin as a mentor, an organization that breeds success, and teammate role models. Adams provides the Pittsburgh Steelers with all the intangibles of a franchise left tackle at a great value in the second round. The question moving forward: Will Mike do what is asked of him and mature into the championship caliber player many (including the Steelers) believe he can be? Only time will tell.