Assistant coach Adams provides ECU with inside intel on Gamecocks

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
East Carolina Pirates wide receiver Quay Johnson (23) and East Carolina Pirates running back Anthony Scott (3) celebrate Scott's touchdown in the second quarter of the college football game against North Carolina State at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville

The term “spy” is used often in football, usually in the context of a defensive player assigned to shadow the opposition’s most dangerous offensive threat.East Carolina has resorted back to a more traditional form of the word this week as it prepares for Saturday’s game at South Carolina.No, the Pirates haven’t sent anyone to Columbia to gain inside information by infiltrating the Gamecocks’ practices. But in defensive line coach Deke Adams, a former assistant at USC, they have a valuable source of information with intimate knowledge of the players they’ll be facing in their first road test of the new season.”We had a personnel meeting with Deke on both sides of the ball where I sat in and I got my notes from that personnel meeting,” head coach Scottie Montgomery said. “He knows a lot about those kids. He knows what they play for, how they play and what positions that they feel more comfortable at, so we got a great amount of intel from Deke. We’re really happy he’s on our staff.”Adams worked with the Gamecocks’ defensive linemen last season and was one of the first position coaches hired by Montgomery after he took over last December.Although there was a also coaching change at USC, with Will Muschamp and his new staff installing different schemes on both sides of the ball, Adams’ knowledge of returning players and their tendencies could still potentially come in handy.He went over the scouting reports during both offensive and defensive meetings earlier this week.Adams’ insight could turn out to be especially helpful to the offensive linemen whose job it will be to block the defenders he knows best.”They’re playing with a lot of the same personnel we played with there last year,” Adams said. “There’s a couple of other guys, Brandon McIlwain who’s a quarterback that’s a true freshman we know is a great athlete because we were recruiting him, but mainly we talked about the guys who have been there and what they bring to the table.”Senior nose guard Demetri McGill said the information Adams provided was helpful. But he was quick to add that it’s going to take more than just a personalized scouting report to overcome the SEC-caliber size and athleticism the Gamecocks bring to the table.ECU will also be playing its first road game after opening the season with home victories against Western Carolina and N.C. State. Conversely, USC will be making its 2016 home debut after starting the year with a win at Vanderbilt and a loss at Mississippi State.The Gamecocks are a 3-point favorite.”I’m expecting it to be a very physical game,” McGill said. “It’s a big stadium and it’s their first home game, so I’m expecting everybody to be pumped up.”Some more than others.Gamecock tight end Jacob August told The State newspaper of Columbia that he’s determined to show Adams how much he’s improved since going up against Adams’ defensive ends on USC’s scout team a year ago.”I’m ready to get out there and show him I’m not a scout team player anymore,” August said.Adams said he’s looking forward to seeing that improvement and renewing old relationships as he returns to his familiar surroundings.But only to a point.”It will be fun,” Adams said. “It’s always a great environment and I look forward to seeing those kids. I learned a long time ago that this job is about more than just the game of football.”I love those kids (at USC). They know they can pick the phone up and call me anytime and I’ll do anything they need. But this is a business trip. We’re going down there to compete and do everything we can to put ourselves in a position to win.”