Trey Adams is ready to hit somebody new.
The senior left tackle has conflicting feelings about Washington’s opener against Eastern Washington on Aug. 31. On one hand, it’s the start of his final season — officially this time. On the other hand, he’s ready to move from practice to the reps that actually count.
“It’s always kind of a rush to get to this season and once it’s here, every game will be the last,” Adams said on Saturday. “My last first game.”
A preseason All-American before the 2018 season, Adams underwent back surgery the week after UW’s opening loss to Auburn. Before that, Adams was on track to return from a torn ACL he suffered against Arizona State in October 2017. He returned for a fifth season of eligibility this season.
“I’m not worried about the NFL and that stuff,” said Adams, a potential first-round draft pick in 2020. “I’m worried about bringing my energy, my leadership to this team every day. It’s weird, it’s my last season and I want to go out with a bang. First we got to focus on Eastern and focus on getting better every day.”
Still, Adams admitted entering this season feels a little different.
“I feel really good right now,” Adams said. “I had a great offseason. Super excited for this season. Fall camp is almost over so that was a good push. Didn’t miss any reps. Physically, I’m feeling good. Mentally, it’s kind of weird but a cool experience.”
Physically, Adams said he feels better now than he has since suffering his injuries.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling, man,” Adams said. “There’s nothing like getting knocked down and being able to work back. It’s been pretty fun so far. I’m having a good time.”
It helps that Adams will be taking the field with five returning starters on the offensive line, even with the loss of Kaleb McGary. Jared Hilbers, who filled in when Adams was out last season, returns along with guards Jaxson Kirkland and Luke Wattenberg and center Nick Harris.
Adams and Harris were both named AP preseason All-Americans, but Adams didn’t put much stock in that. All it proves, he said, is that “they know your name.” But this Huskies offensive line? It could special.
“As a line this year, we’re definitely closer,” Adams said. “We hang out a lot off the field, which is cool. I really think that helps us on the field. But yeah, we got a lot of experienced guys. … We’re jelling pretty good right now, moving the ball, protecting the quarterback.”
Adams also said the offense as a whole is coming together well, from running back Salvon Ahmed to the wide receivers.
“Doing your job is what I think about,” Adams said. “For the O-Line, just blocking your butts off and those guys catching the ball and running it. Every offense is going to have your pieces that you need to work on and pieces that are already there. We’re in that process right now working on everything good.”
It’s not just the offense that Adams is impressed with. He’s been going against the Huskies’ defense every day of fall camp and he offered nothing but praise for the linemen, particularly on the edge. He knows they put in the work during the offseason and he can see it paying off in their increased strength and speed.
Now, he just has one message.
“When I’m around those guys I say you guys better get some sacks this year,” he said, “just from how you’ve been in practice.”