During Friday’s scrimmage at Ford Field, veteran safety Andrew Adams made a terrific over the shoulder interception from his deep safety spot on an overthrown ball by backup quarterback Tom Savage.
Adams has probably made a thousand such catches throughout his lifetime, having played center field as a terrific baseball player in his youth.
Adams hit 13 home runs as a senior at Woodward Academy in Georgia, which was four more than teammate and fellow outfielder Delino DeShields Jr., who is currently the starting center fielder for the Texas Rangers.
Adams played center field and DeShields played left field.
“We wouldn’t let no ball drop,” Adams said with a chuckle.
Adams originally committed to play baseball at Furman, but decommitted when UConn came calling, wanting him to play football for the Huskies.
Knowing he was going to college to play safety, and being just 180 pounds at the time, Adams bulked up. When baseball season came around, he went from being a lead-off hitter his first three years at Woodward to being a power threat from the No. 3 spot in the order.
Adams never wavered from his commitment to UConn, even when professional baseball scouts came calling.
“I was talking to pro scouts, but I was pretty stuck on football,” Adams said.
It’s turned out to be the right career choice.
Despite being undrafted in 2016, Adams found a way onto the New York Giants roster and started 13 games that year. He played one more year in New York before signing with Tampa Bay last offseason. Adams notched four interceptions with the Bucs last year before signing with the Lions this offseason. He’s had a good start to training camp in Detroit, and is vying for a role on defense.
If he continues to make plays like the one he did Friday, that could turn into a reality. Adams credits his hands and his ability to track the ball to all those days playing outfield in the travel baseball circuit as a kid and in high school at Woodward.
“Running fast and having to track it or if you’re not looking running and then having to pick up the ball and track it, it’s just like a fly ball,” Adams said. “(Playing) centerfield definitely helps with my ball skills.”