At 6-foot-1, Davante Adams knew his future wasn’t going to be in the NBA.
That was a tough realization, since basketball was his first love and he was a two-sport athlete into his senior year at Palo Alto High.
But great things started happening on the football field for Adams in 2010. He led Palo Alto to the school’s first CIF Division I state championship, making four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in a 15-13 victory over Centennial-Corona.
“That was huge,” said Adams, who finished that year with 64 receptions for 1,094 yards and 12 touchdowns. “That was something nobody really expected coming from a public (comprehensive) school. We don’t recruit and things like that. We started from the bottom, really, and worked with what we had and played together. It was huge to be able to hold that trophy.”
In the winter, he played one more season of basketball and averaged 9.6 points per game for a team that finished 19-7, but it was time to say goodbye to the court.
“There are guys 6-8 playing basketball,” Adams said, “plus there is something about football.”
Hello, Fresno State, which saw plenty to like in the two-star recruit and signed him to a football scholarship.
“Fresno was a blessing in disguise,” Adams said. “Came in and had Derek (Carr), I redshirted at first, then had Derek throwing at me. He did what he did and made my job a lot easier.”
Adams’ career totals with the Bulldogs: 3,030 yards and 38 touchdowns in just two seasons.
Football and Adams turned out to be a great match, from his days with the Palo Alto Knights at age 9, into his time at Fresno State, and now as a member of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
Success has followed at every step, including last weekend’s 26-21 playoff victory over Dallas that sent the Packers to Sunday’s NFC Championship game against defending Super Bowl champion Seattle. The winner advances to Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1 in Glendale, Arizona.
“I’m ready,” Adams said. “This is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life, for stuff like this and moments like this. Just got to execute on the field.”
Adams played a starring role in the Packers getting to this point, with seven catches for 117 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys.
One regret? Adams left behind the game ball that he wanted to give to his mother, Pamela Brown,
“I’m going to see if they can make a (replica),” Adams said. “I left the football on the field and kind of forgot about it.
“She’s my No. 1,” Adams said. “She’s been there since the beginning, obviously … the moral support. She’s supported everything that I’ve done … decision-wise. I factor her into every decision I make, and a lot that I do now is for her.”
Adams was taken in the second round in last year’s draft and turned in an impressive rookie regular season with 446 yards and three touchdowns. Teammates have seen the strides he has made since training camp.
“I think one (area) is his play speed,” receiver Jordy Nelson said. “I think he has picked it up, which is just something that happens over time and feeling more comfortable in the offense, feeling comfortable with Aaron (Rodgers). Just being out there knowing what he has to do.”
Adams is not shy to say that he knew he had it in him, because of confidence “in my abilities and I’d done a lot in college.”
“It’s just a matter of being comfortable and taking it to the next level,” Adams said, “and applying everything that I’ve been working on to this point.”
The Seahawks know they will see a different player from the one they went up against in Week 1, when the Packers lost 36-16 at Seattle. Adams wasn’t a factor, not targeted even once by Rodgers.
“He’s definitely becoming one of (Rodgers’) favorite targets,” Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright said. “So our DBs know what he’s capable of and we’re going to treat him just as we would Nelson and (Randall) Cobb. He’s a guy that can be dangerous out there.”