MOORE — Jalen Adams smiled as his little sister repeated after him and said her name into the lens of a camera.
Adams had spent the last hour talking about his family as they bustled around. His grandmother watched television as his grandfather sat at the dining-room table. His mom fed the dogs as his little sister clung to the leg of her aunt. His son, 7-month-old Jeremiah, giggled, gurgled and smiled on his girlfriend's lap.
This is the Southmoore wide receiver's world: his family. He is a self-proclaimed family man. He is also one of the state's best wide receivers. That's why he is No. 16 on The Oklahoman's 2013 Super 30 list of the top football recruits in the state.
“My family is very supportive, they're always here for me,” Adams said. “They want to see me excel and go to somewhere where I can get the best education and play football too.”
Family and football have always been two big things in Adams' life. He loves movement. That's why when he's on the field he's running routes, while at home nothing ever seems to settle. A binky is falling, a dog is barking, a family member is moving.
He had a junior season where he had 766 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Then in the offseason, he was accepted into National Honor Society. A member must have above a 3.5 GPA. After talking about family, Adams talked about academics before moving onto football.
“Academics have always been a big thing in my family,” he said. “We are a big football family and we gather together to watch games, but I know a good education will help me get a good job. One day I know I'll have to support my family with a job other than football.”
Right now, he works at Fan Outfitters, but he's looking to major in business. He wants to be an entrepreneur. He wants to be able to be a business man but a family man. He also says he's a perfectionist.
“If I'm drawing a line, it's got to be straight,” he said. “If not, I erase it and do it again. Same thing with doing something on the field.”
His mother shared family stories of her well-mannered and respectful son.
“When he was in kindergarten, his teacher told me she wished she could clone him because she'd like to have 1,000 of him,” Tequetta Adams.
Then, like only a family member can, she slightly embarrassed her son as she talked about the contests he won as a baby when she entered him into pageants.
Adams' mom, though, is his role model. That's how he learned how to get through difficult situations. Being a father at 17, he's had to learn how to balance a lot.
“Go to school, go to football, go to work, come home and take care of him and spend time also,” he said. “It's gotten easier over time.”
All of it has been his motivation to excel as a father and a football player.
“If something is hard, I'm not going to say, ‘Oh, that's too hard. I'm not going to do it,' ” said Adams, who runs a 4.4 40-yard dash. “With Jeremiah, he needs me as a role model. He needs a father in his life, so that's what I'm going to do.”
Jeremiah sat on his father's lap as Adams talked, playing with his daddy's hands. That's Jalen Adams, a football player and a family man.
The Oklahoman's Super 30: No. 16
Name: Jalen Adams
Weight: 160 pounds
Position: Wide receiver
Recruited by: Offer list keeps growing, now including Air Force, Tulsa, North Texas, Ohio, Indiana, New Mexico, New Mexico State, San Diego State and UT-San Antonio.