Head coach Mark Speir reflects on the bounce-back season
WCU has four players collect unanimous first team recognition
Detrez Newsome eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark with 107 rushing yards
Quarterback accounted for 433 yards of total offense vs. Mercer
2016 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in all 11 of the team's games, making 10 starts at quarterback missing the first quarter at Mercer (Oct. 15) for a violation of team rules ... Passed for 2,568 yards on the season, a mark that ranked third in the SoCon and 28th nationally -- it was also the fifth-best, single-season performance in school history for a QB ... Completed 217 passes, the fourth-best single-season in WCU history ... His 233.5 passing yards per game average ranked third in the SoCon while his 135.7 passer efficiency and 266.0 total offense average ranked fourth in the league ... Tossed 15 touchdown passes, adding one on the ground in addition to a total of 358 rushing yards ... Set a school record with 510 yards of total offense including a career-best 427 yards passing and 83 rushing yards in the home win over Gardner-Webb (Sept. 10), matching a school benchmark with five passing touchdowns ... His 510 yards of total offense in a single-game also represents the fifth-best in SoCon history ... For his efforts, he garnered SoCon Offensive Player and STATS FCS National Freshman of the Week accolades following the victory over the Runnin' Bulldogs ... Threw for 343 yards and two TDs against ETSU (Sept. 17) in a game held at the Bristol Motor Speedway, while also eclipsing the 300-yard passing mark with 384 yards at Mercer (Oct. 15) ... Named the SoCon's Offensive Player of the Month in September, leading the league in passing yards (312.3 yds/gm) and total offense (369.4 yds/gm) through the first month of the season ... Named the 2016 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year by both the league's head coaches and voting media ... Selected to the SoCon All-Freshman team ... Finished fourth in voting out of 23 national finalists for the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award given to the national freshman of the year ... Tabbed first team Freshman All-America by HERO Sports, leading all rookie quarterbacks in passing yards ... Threw for 272 yards on 17-of-29 passing with two interceptions and a pair of touchdown passes in WCU's annual Spring Game ... Despite being in the protective gold jersey, Adams added 34 rushing yards including a scrimmage-long 22-yard rush on a scramble.
2015 (Freshman): Traveled or dressed each week, but did not see game action, taking a redshirt ... Led five scoring drives in WCU's annual Spring Game, tossing three touchdown passes ... Completed 15-of-21 passes for 146 yards and three TDs, adding 59 yards rushing on eight carries in the final spring scrimmage ... Participated in indoor track & field where he was the SoCon men's champion in the high jump, clearing 2.09-meters ... Also finished eighth in the SoCon in the long jump (6.85m), scoring points for the conference championship team ... During the outdoor season, won the SoCon high jump title after clearing 2.11m (6-11.00) while finishing fourth in the long jump ... Qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round ... Missed the school record in the high jump by a quarter of an inch in his outdoor debut at the Beynon Sports Catamount Classic after clearing 2.14m (7-00.25).
Prior to Western Carolina: Three-sport standout in high school, recruited as a football quarterback and in the high jump in track & field while also playing basketball ... Named to the Tampa Tribune's All-Pinellas County football second team as an athlete ... As a senior, threw for 2,802 yards and 30 touchdowns including a career-high -- and county record -- 598 yards and six TDs on 36-of-55 passing against Tarpon Springs, adding 109 rushing yards and another score ... Recorded 505 passing yards in a game as a senior while earning BHSN Athlete of the Week honors after throwing for 448 yards and four TDs in a win over Seminole HS ... Was a third-team Class 6-A All-State Elite team selection in 2013 ... Was named first team All-Tampa in track & field in the high jump after finishing third at Class 3-A state meet ... Had the area's top height at 6-10 during season.