Growing up in St. Petersburg, Florida, Rodney Adams felt at home on the football field.
Adams made a name for himself early on the gridiron, standing out at Lakewood High School. He then went on to play seven games as a true freshman at Toledo before being granted a hardship by the NCAA to transfer and play immediately at South Florida following his mother's passing.
He went on to play 43 games for the Bulls and made 29 starts, including all 26 of his final two collegiate seasons. Adams ranked second in school history in career catches (135), receiving yards (1,967) and receiving touchdowns (16). He twice set the single-season South Florida record for receiving yards, recording 822 in back-to-back seasons.
A childhood dream of playing in the NFL was realized in April when Adams was selected 170th overall by the Vikings.
"I was super excited," Adams recalled. "It's a big dream of everyone's to get drafted, and going through the draft process, you don't know what's going to happen – you can go anywhere in the country. To see my name called by the Minnesota Vikings, it was a blessing."
Adams made a strong case for himself during Minnesota's four preseason contests, scoring touchdowns at the Bills and against the 49ers.
"It's hard to score touchdowns in the NFL, even in preseason," Adams said. "To have two touchdowns in the preseason, it felt really great."
He finished the preseason slate with nine catches for 73 yards. Adams also has been utilized on special teams; he returned six punts and six kickoffs for 59 yards and 118 yards, respectively.
We sat down with Rodney for a recent timeout:
Q: There's quite a variety of wide receivers in the Vikings locker room; what is the dynamic like in that position group?
A:It's a funny room. There's a lot of different personalities with Stef' (Stefon Diggs) and Adam [Thielen]. Everyone brings their own little tricks of the trade to the table, and it's just funny being in that room with them. They're helpful all the time, they're teaching me a lot of things, and it's just fun.
Q: You played special teams in college and now have been able to use those skills here under Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer. What do you enjoy about being part of that unit?
A:What I like about special teams is that it gives you the opportunity to change the game, as Coach Prief' would say. You know, the momentum changers. In the blink of an eye, you have the chance to switch the game … and just being able to help the team is what brings me joy, because you have a role, you have a part. Being able to help the team is a blessing.
Q: Growing up in the Tampa area, were the Buccaneers your favorite team to watch?
A:I didn't really have a favorite team; I would watch every team in the league. But my grandma was a big Bucs fan, so every Sunday that the Bucs would play, I would have to watch that game with her.
Q: You'll be reunited today with a former high school and college teammate, Buccaneers WR Bernard Reedy. What is that connection like?
A:It's a great friendship. We went to the same high school and the same college [for a short time]. Now he's getting a shot with the Buccaneers, and I'm proud of him. He's going to excel there. The connection that we have, it's still there. We're still great friends, and when we see each other [today], it will be like, 'What's up, man?' like nothing's changed.
Q: A lot of Vikings fans have enjoyed watching your vlog and connecting with you through social media. Why did you decide to start a vlog?
A:I would watch [YouTube personality and filmmaker] Casey Neistat's vlogs, and I just thought, 'If he can do it, I can do it, too.' … It didn't take that much to learn. People want to see what the life of an NFL player is, so I mean, just watching his vlogs inspired me to make my own.
Q: It sounds like film is a hobby of yours. In that case, what is your favorite movie to watch?
A:My favorite movie? I'd have to say *Harry Potter *– the whole series. *Harry Potter *is my all-time [favorite].
Q: Now having settled into the Twin Cities area, have you found a favorite dining spot?
A:The Original Pancake House – that spot is bangin'. They have some great breakfast there. I always get the cinnamon French toast with fruit, eggs and bacon.