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September 1, 2017

Bisons Camp: Cole Adamson | The Future

Take one look at Cole Adamson and it’s easy to make the assumption he’s been grinding away for years at a premier training facility in the hopes of one day becoming a professional football player.

After all, when he graduated from Oak Park High School in June, the rookie defensive tackle for the Manitoba Bisons was already 265 pounds and stood at an imposing 6-foot-5.

However, his rise to become one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation during his senior season – as well as the Winnipeg High School Football League’s Defensive Player of the Year – tells a different story.

“I never had any sort of football training. I never did Recruit Ready or anything,” Adamson began. “I’ve always thought about it, but I’ve always been kind of busy with basketball, so I’ve just worked out at Goodlife Fitness on my own and I haven’t really done any strength training.”

Two things Adamson has always had, however, are his natural athletic ability and non-stop work ethic.

Athletically, he’d been a two-sport athlete from a young age, and was a key member of Oak Park’s provincial champion basketball team last season as a centre. While he loved playing on the hardcourt, he knew his athletic future was likely going to take place on the gridiron.

“For my position, to be a centre you’d have to be a lot taller and for football I was already a good size,” he said. “Then I started getting looks at for football, so I thought this is definitely the path I would go be doing down and not basketball.”

In terms of his work ethic, one needs to look no further than the early stages of Adamson’s Grade 11 football season – his first on the defensive side of the ball while at Oak Park. In just the second game of the season, on the very first play, he suffered a partially torn MCL after being clipped at the legs on the kickoff.

“I played the whole game and then when I got up the next morning I couldn’t walk,” Adamson recalled, “and I was like ‘oh this is serious,’ and when the doctor told me I was like ‘wow this is serious.”

Adamson took about a month off, but he never lost focus on helping his team succeed.

“I was antsy to get back on the field and our team’s defence was struggling and lost some games we should’ve won, especially the defence, so once I got back in I was ready to play,” he said. “Nothing bothered me or anything like that.”

It’s examples such as these that demonstrate just why Bisons football head coach Brian Dobie was so excited to get Adamson on the field for Manitoba, someone he’s already stated has “future All-Canadian written all over him.”

His play through spring and main camp hasn’t disappointed.

“All our vets were all talking about Cole Adamson (at spring camp). He was the guy that everybody was talking about,” Dobie said emphatically.

“The veteran players, everybody, from both sides of the ball were all saying ‘Coach, this kid’s already amazing’, ‘Oh my God he’s a monster’, ‘Oh my God he’s athletic, he can move, he’s going to be unbelievable coach.’ Those are all the comments we were getting.”

Despite continued praise, the promising rookie has maintained his humble attitude and desire to get better every day.

“Spring camp I felt like I was just in there not knowing what was going on and trying to react to the plays, but now I’m actually able to be in the plays and actually play football,” he said.

Adamson credits a specified strength training program – which has helped him gain roughly 20 more pounds of muscle – as well as proper hand placement in the run game, as two of the biggest adjustments he’s made from April until now.

“I’ve learned so much already and it’s made it 10 times easier compared to even spring camp,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like 300-pound bodies going at me. I wouldn’t say it’s easier, but it’s a lot more manageable to be able to play at this level and it’s a huge step from high school, just the speed of the game and all that.”