After scoring a career-high five touchdowns in a blowout win over district rival McKinney North earlier this season, Prosper senior running back Kaleb Adams remained humble. He said his breakout performance “felt the same” as other wins and gave all the credit to his offensive line.
His modest personality has remained consistent ever since joining the varsity football and basketball teams as a sophomore, but don’t let that fool you — he’s arguably one of the most important players on the 2017 Prosper football roster.
“Whenever I step on the field or the court, I just want to go win and compete,” Adams said. “That’s really what it’s about for me.”
With one week remaining before the playoffs begin, the Prosper football team has once again taken first place in District 14-5A with a 7-2 overall record. They’ve done so with a deep, experienced team, but their success would not have been possible without their workhorse in the backfield.
Adams has carried a huge burden on offense this season. He currently leads the District with 1,056 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns, edging out McKinney North’s Lamar Lucas in both categories. A deeper dive into his stats tell an even more impressive story — he’s amassed over 100 yards five times and scored 15 of his touchdowns in a four-game stretch. In total, 12 of his 20 total scores have went for 20 or more yards.
“He’s got such great vision and balance,” head coach Brandon Schmidt said. “He’s hard to tackle with a real thick lower body. The sky is the limit for Kaleb.”
Surprisingly, the overall numbers could be even bigger for Adams. He has sat out the second half in five of Prosper’s nine games, all of which were blowout victories.
Even when he’s not on the field, Adams still has a tremendous impact as a teammate on the sidelines. Schmidt and running backs coach Reed Ryan both praised Adams for his development as a leader both vocally and by example. According to Ryan, Adams even calls for plays to be repeated over again in practice if the team didn’t get it right the first time. His attention to detail and level of focus are tough to match.
“He coaches up the younger guys too,” Ryan said. “A lot of times, before I can even get to a younger player that made a mistake or needs to tweak something, Kaleb is there to help them. “
Once football season is over, Adams switches gears and hits the hardwood with coach Jonathan Ellis and the varsity Eagles basketball team. At about 5-feet-9-inches, Adams plays and defends both guard positions and is known for doing all the little things to help his team win. As a result, Ellis awarded him with the “Hustle Award” last season. His mindset doesn’t falter, no matter what sport he plays.
“Kaleb is a fun-loving kid to be around but has a competitive attitude to himself,” Ellis said. “I’d bet if you play him in monopoly, he’ll find a way to win.”
Both Schmidt and Ellis look for athletes like Adams to compete in multiple sports year-round. Quarterback Nathan Powter and wide receiver Everett Jefferson, both recent graduates at Prosper, also played football and basketball as seniors. Once football season is over, players like Adams switch over to basketball just in time for district play.
“The opportunity for those kids to compete year-round makes them better at everything,” Schmidt said. “We emphasize, encourage, and expect all of our kids to be in multiple sports.”
Despite being undersized, the multitude of skills Adams possesses should make him a valuable recruit for a collegiate athletics program. Adams has not received a scholarship offer yet, but he and his coaches expect things to pick up once the season concludes.
Until that time comes, Adams is zeroed-in on making a deep playoff run with Prosper football.
“It’s a slow process, but it’s cool. I have full trust in my coaches,” Adams said. “If we do what we’re supposed to do, eventually something will come.”