With two tackles and a tackle for loss in the opener against Washington State it didn't take him long to contribute. Adams made three stops two weeks later in the SEC opener against Mississippi State.
Finishing the year with 20 tackles, one sack and one and half tackles for a loss, Adams is back and ready for more this spring. "I'm taking coaching better," Adams said of his improvement. "I'm just learning a lot. I came from a small school and coming here and being with one of the best coaches in the nation and being able to listen to him everything he says, I think I'm getting a lot better."
With plenty of depth at the defensive tackle position this spring and needing help outside, Adams and Gabe Wright are both playing end to give Coach Rodney Garner a look at what a massive defensive line might look like for the Tigers in the fall. While it's doubtful the experiment will mean a full-time change, it's something that Adams is taking very serious this spring and so far the results have been positive.
"I'm just working at end right now because I've pretty much got tackle down," Adams said. "I need to work on both, but I'm working more on end right now.
"I like it," he added. "It takes a little off the double teams from time to time. I'll take that."
Adams makes a play against Washington State
Even though both will likely still be listed as defensive tackles when Auburn takes the field in the season opener against Arkansas, having a pair of massive ends at their disposal can't be a bad thing for the Tigers against a team like the Razorbacks that relies on a physical running game. As for how well the two can play the position, Adams said it's all about mindset.
"I weigh like 305," Adams said. "I think (Gabe) is like 285. I can do anything, anything I put my mind to. God blessed me with a lot of athletic ability. I can do whatever I want to do.
"I talked to Coach G (Garner), I talked to Coach (Gus) Malzahn and a couple other coaches and they think I can play both," he added. "I think I can play both, too. Wherever they want me to be, that's where I'm going to go to help the team."
Trying to replace potential NFL first-rounder Dee Ford at end and with returning starter LaDarius Owens out after breaking his foot in offseason workouts, the Tigers were already thin at the position heading into spring practice. Throw in the loss of junior Justin Delaine from last year as well and Auburn will need several newcomers to make an impact this fall, which is another reason why Adams and Wright are getting a look this spring.
Something that makes the move this spring a smart one for Garner is because of the experience and talent inside on the defensive line. With Jeffrey Whitaker returning to the field after sitting out last fall, and with fellow seniors Angelo Blackson and Ben Bradley available, the tackle spot is in good shape at the moment. Adams said all of that experience makes his job easier because he gets to learn from good players every day in practice.
"It feels good to learn stuff and be with these great players," Adams said. "They're probably going to move on next year and some of them are probably going to go to the league. They're going to be great men and I just want to surround myself with great men and learn everything they can teach me."
Now more prepared to face the challenges of playing in the SEC, Adams has an opportunity to make a major impact for the Tigers this fall. Whether that is inside at defensive tackle or outside at end, he said for him it's all about getting better every time out and using the knowledge he gains from Garner to make himself a better player.
"It's hard coming in from high school, period," Adams said. "And then we've got Coach G. You know, he's a different coach and he coaches different from a lot of other coaches. He's very intense and I wasn't ready for all that. Just learning how to deal with him and learning how to take his coaching and learning how to get his knowledge, that's something I'm really starting to get better at. I'm just listening to everything he says and do what he says."