The 2014 transition class for the Texas Longhorns will always stand as one of the great disappointments in the school’s recent recruiting history, and of all the prospects that got away, former LSU Tigers safety Jamal Adams is among the three most important.
Out of Lewisville Hebron, Adams was a consensus five-star prospect rated as the No. 2 safety in the country and the No. 31 player overall, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Heading into the 2012 season, it looked like Adams might be close to picking Texas, but he ultimately decided to make his decision at the 2014 Under Armour All-American game after the Longhorns forced out Mack Brown.
"I was so close man [to picking Texas]," Adams said last week on ESPN Radio. "I felt a coaching change was going to happen. Mack Brown pretty much told me he was thinking about leaving. He told me on my recruiting visit and I appreciate that. It showed a lot of respect that him and I had. We built a relationship for a long time throughout the process as well as the the other staff there, Coach Akina, the defensive back coach there. I was going there for the longest time, but to be honest I was really going to be a Gator due to my godfather."
Instead, Adams headed to Baton Rouge, where he started every game in 2015 and 2016, earning a variety of All-American honors in his final season. Known as a vocal leader, high-motor player, and hard hitter, Adams helped LSU secure its claim as DBU while Texas struggled to find playmakers at safety.
Along with Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and Alabama defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, Adams was one of the players who ultimately defined the 2014 class as a disappointment for Texas.
And finding out just how close Adams was to becoming a Longhorn doesn’t make that reality any easier to accept.