Growing up, Independence High offensive lineman Tony Adams was always a big guy and he hoped that would help him find a spot on a college football team.
Adams, an N.C. State recruit, was 6-foot, 280 pounds as a freshman.
“I knew I had to be big,” Adams said. “Ever since I was about 11 years old, my aspiration has been to play college football. I wasn’t that interested in playing pro football, but ... I wanted a college education and the chance to play sports.”
He got hurt at the end of his sophomore year, dislocating a knee cap. His weight ballooned to 330.
“I got hurt and didn’t take care of myself as well as I should’ve,” Adams said. “I had gained a lot of muscle and had gotten up to 300, but I got hurt and gained weight.”
Adams was 325 during his junior year and decided to do something about his weight. He worked out harder in the weight room. He played tennis for the Patriots last spring. Independence athletics director Kelly Lewis said Adams surprised everyone with how light he was on his feet.
“He played No. 1 singles for us,” Lewis said. “He’s a freaky athlete. No one could believe how quick he was.”
Adams also adjusted his diet. He stopped going to fast food spots and ate more frequent but smaller meals. He dropped more than 30 pounds and today is 6-foot-2 and weighs 295 pounds.
“Gaining that weight was a concern for health reasons,” Adams said. “The doctors don’t worry about my weight because my blood pressure is good.”
“It’s funny, you talk to the coaches these days who used to be offensive linemen who were 320, they finish football and they’ve lost a whole lot of weight and you ask, ‘How did you play offensive line?’ They’ve lost so much weight. It makes you think you don’t need to put on too much.”
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