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ASU Football: JUCO transfer Terin Adams emphasizing fundamentals as first-team reps come

“Stay outside.”

Andrew Palla/House of Sparky

During the red zone drill portion of ASU’s Spring game, encouragement poured in from from the back of the endzone.

“Lets go T-A,” fellow corner back Chase Lucas yelled to Terin Adams, who was standing about 30 yards away. “Stay outside. Stay outside.”

Adams stayed with his man on the play — wide receiver Terrell Chatman — as quarterback Manny Wilkins fired a dart to receiver Kyle Williams on a post route for a touchdown.

Maybe the best part of the whole exchange, though, is that Adams is taking those first-team reps because of an injury Lucas sustained that has kept him out of practice since April 5. Now, Lucas — slotted to be the Devils’ No. 1 corner — knows that Adams taking his place isn’t a likely Wally Pipp situation, but he didn’t have to help out the guy who’s temporarily replacing him.

“When you’re at corner, you don’t see what you do,” Lucas said. “You’re going to guard someone backwards so I’m just telling him, ‘work on your backpedal,’ and he’s going to say the same thing to me — and we’re going to go into the film room and fix it.”

Lucas said that he started “clowning on” Adams when he got to Tempe from San Francisco City College about three months ago. Lucas said that Adams was constantly asking how much he weighed, wanting to get to Lucas’ size. So the USA Today Freshman All-American told him the truth: “I’m like 176(-pounds), 177.”

Lucas said that he then, “out of nowhere,” gained 13 pounds to get up to 190-pounds which was followed by accusations of Lucas taking steroids from Adams.

Adams’ perplexed reaction to Lucas’ sudden weight gain shows that guys probably weren’t gaining 13 pounds out of the blue at San Francisco City College. One misstep, too, probably wasn’t going to result in a touchdown for the offense.

“In junior college, you can get away with a lot more, so here, you’ve got be be on like everything fundamentally,” Adams said. “Or else, like one little step off and you could get beat for a touchdown — especially playing at cornerback. If you mess up, everybody sees it -- versus like a D-lineman, you mess up he goes for like a five-yard gain.”

The Kirkland, Washington native said that he’s working on “little things that make a big difference,” and that seems to be the main talking point when the coaches talk to 6-foot, 185-pound corner. Just a day before the spring game, ASU head coach Herm Edwards was preaching the same thing that Lucas told Adams on Friday: Stay outside.

“You’re thinking to hard,” Edwards shouted over to Adams. “Don’t think that hard. Just stay out there.”

After not seeing the change he wanted, Edwards pulled Adams to the sideline to demonstrate exactly what he wanted to see from the redshirt sophomore.

“Herm comes to talk to me multiple times. He’s really trying to work with me,” Adams said. “He’s trying to help me with the transitions on the little things, fundamentally. (He) gives me as many tips as he can as a DB, so really he’s working with me everyday.”

Adams got to Tempe with a learning curve. He said that he’s just started to get comfortable in the last week or two of spring ball, and while he hasn’t been making too many plays when he’s out at the Kajikawa Practice facility, he said he’s really trying to focus on fundamentals.

Part of that he shows on the field, but learning the fundamentals that will be crucial to Adams’ playing time next season starts in the film room — and at ASU, he’s getting much more one-on-one attention.

Andrew Palla/House of Sparky

Adams said that at San Francisco City College, about 20 DBs stayed through the whole course and safeties and corners watched film together. Sun Devil defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales made sure to break up the two groups and cornerbacks coach Tony White says that’s for good reason.

“If you have them all together, usually if you’re talking to a safety, the corners are not listening,” White said. “And you’re not getting through as much content.”

White added that Adams comfort level and overall play is getting sharpener more and more with each practice and rep. The fundamentals will come, but the talent is evident, he said.

“You can see why we recruited him and I think the more he’s doing, the more comfortable he’s getting,” White said. “And you can see the flashes of him playing fast and doing the things well that we ask him to do.”