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Former UK Standout George Adams Loves The Way Benny Snell Runs - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Former UK Standout George Adams Loves The Way Benny Snell Runs

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George Adams, left, with his son and wife at the NFL draft where the Jets picked his son in the first round. Adams thinks UK running back Benny Snell will be a good NFL player. George Adams, left, with his son and wife at the NFL draft where the Jets picked his son in the first round. Adams thinks UK running back Benny Snell will be a good NFL player.

By LARRY VAUGHT

George Adams appreciates what Benny Snell has done at Kentucky the last two years and also understands how difficult it could be for the junior running back to maintain that success this season.

“It’s real hard for a kid to be able to run the way he is running year after year,” said Adams, a former UK running back and former first-round NFL draft pick. “Defenses are going to load up to stop him and make the quarterback — whoever it is — throw the ball. He will still get yards. He’s a tough kid, runs hard and has good vision. I think he will be great at the next level (NFL) too. But SEC defenses are going to come after him this year.”

Snell led the SEC in rushing touchdowns (19) and ranked third in rushing yards (1,333) last year when he averaged 102.5 yards per game. He became the first player in school history to have consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

He is only the third player in SEC history to have at least 2,424 yards and at least 31 rushing touchdowns before his junior season. The other two — Georgia’s Herschel Walker and LSU’s Leonard Fournette – are two of the SEC's all-time best backs. Snell already has the school records for total rushing touchdowns (32), most rushing touchdowns in a season (19) and most points in a season (116). 

Adams played at UK under Jerry Claiborne from 1981-84 and was a first-round pick of the New York Giants in the 1985 draft. He played a combined six years for the Giants and New England Patriots. 

He ran for 2,648 yards and 25 scores at UK and caught 79 passes for 609 yards and two scores. Adams averaged 4.5 yards every time he touched the football and had 1,085 yards and 13 scores rushing along with 33 catches for 330 yards his senior season. He helped UK get to two bowl games. During his six seasons in the NFL he rushed for 886 yards and caught 111 passes for 1,014 yards.

Like Snell, Adams was a big back and sees a lot of similarities between him and Snell.

“I like guys who do not shy away from anything,” Adams said. “Ever now and then you have to know when to give up and not take licks, but I love the way he runs. He doesn’t run away from licks. I like how he keeps his legs moving and is always ready to take on the contact. 

“A lot of running backs, especially in the SEC, don’t like to run inside. They like to bounce outside and use their speed, but everybody in the SEC is fast. You have got to go between the tackles and he’ll do that.”

Adams’ son, Jamal, played safety for LSU and is now with the New York Jets after they drafted him in the first round. The former UK star watched Fournette during his collegiate career at LSU and sees some of Fournette in Snell.

“He’s tough, just like Leonard,” Adams said. “Running-wise, he has got it. But I go back to my rookie year (in the NFL). You think you have it all but you don’t. Benny needs to work on pass pickup (protection) and how to read defenses and know where they are coming from. As a rookie, never say you are ready to play because they are going to get you.”

Snell has just 12 career receptions at UK and caught just one pass in the final six games last year. Is that a concern looking ahead to the NFL?
 

“That’s really not a big deal for the next level. If a team want you, they will know he has not caught a lo too passes and they will scheme around him,” Adams said. “I think he can catch the ball from what I have seen. It’s just the offense they are running is not set up for him to catch a lot of balls. But at the next level, he’ll be fine.”
 

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