This Q&A is brought to you by the Texas A&M Lettermen's Association
Founded in 1974, the Lettermen’s Association was created to provide a means for former students who won Varsity Letters at Texas A&M to gather from time to time and support the University’s athletic programs. Today the Association is one of the most visible and well-respected organizations in the University System, with active members spanning nearly 70 class years and representing all intercollegiate sports.
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Texas A&M All-American Sam Adams is the focus of our latest Q&A, presented by the Texas A&M Lettermen's Association.
Sam was a consensus All-American as a junior in 1993 and was named defensive player of the year by Sports Illustrated. He was the runner up for the Lombardi Award and was named the SWC defensive player of the year. As a senior, he posted 78 tackles, caused five fumbles, recovered three fumbles, recorded 10.5 sacks and 13 tackles for losses and broke up four passes.
A first-round draft choice by the Seattle Seahawks in 1994, he went on to play a total of 14 years in the NFL with six different teams--making the Pro Bowl twice and winning a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.
Sam currently lives in Seattle. He owns six boats in the Oregon Athletic Club and spends time coaching his son's pee-wee football team and his daughter's high-school aged basketball team.
Who was your role model growing up?
“As you go through life there are several people who impacted me in a positive manner. When I was at Texas A&M, Greg Mattison, my coach, Bill Johnson, who was my second coach, and (teammate) Greg Hill. In college those were my guys. In high school, I had great leadership through my church and afterwards with my coaches.”
What's your favorite memory as a college athlete?
“My favorite memory was during my junior year, when we beat Texas at home. That was a big one. It wasn’t that big of a game, but playing on Thanksgiving night and being on ESPN and national television was always a special thing that we all looked forward to. It was one of my favorite memories.”
“There were some things we would always do in the dorms to build up the camaraderie of being with the guys, and by showing everyone that we were in the football dorm. That was something I like to look back on.”
What was the hardest transition for you after school?
“It’s always a difficult transition going from being a student to being an employee. But R.C. Slocum and his staff did a great job preparing us for life. I was pretty comfortable with my transition from being a student to being part of the work world.”
What is one bit of advice you would offer young athletes as they are finishing up school?
“Prepare yourself for life after football. This is the biggest thing. You see people not having very much success, and that is because they are not prepared for life after football. Football is a pit stop and life happens after you get done playing. Prepare yourself by getting good grades. Pick an occupation or major that you can learn and rely on once you get done playing ball to feed your family.”
How has the Aggie Network impacted you?
“Since I’m living in Washington, it gives us the access to Aggie sports and connections. I have a 14-year-old daughter who is receiving letters from colleges. It enables me to go to those Texas Aggies and teach my kids about my heritage and where I came from. I can try to continue that Aggie tradition and give the school a couple of athletes.”