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Eric Peterson, Published November 08 2013

Defensive end Nate Adams now leading the MIAC in sacks for the Cobbers


Nate Adams liked “fencing it,” when he played tennis in high school.

At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Adams didn’t look like your typical prep tennis player at Litchfield (Minn.) High School.

“We were just like out of the norm,” said Adams, whose doubles partner was 6-foot-4 but more lanky than Adams.

“Fencing it” was hitting an overhand smash so hard the ball would bounce over the top of fence that surrounded the court.

“We’d count how many times I could ‘fence it,’ ” Adams said with a laugh.

These days, Adams is creating havoc on the football field for the Concordia Cobbers.

The junior, who now weighs 255 pounds, plays defensive end. Adams leads the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with eight sacks in his first season with Concordia.

“He’s just a beast,” said Cobbers senior nose tackle Mark Wychor. “He makes plays and dominates offensive linemen.”

The Cobbers will need Adams to be his dominant self today. No. 21-ranked Concordia plays at No. 18-ranked St. Thomas at 1:10 p.m. The Cobbers need a victory to stay in the hunt for a Division III playoff spot.

“He’s got everything you want in a defensive lineman,” Cobbers head coach Terry Horan said of Adams, who transferred to Concordia from Bemidji State before the start of this season.

Adams’ top sports in high school were football and hockey. Hockey was “my go-to sport,” he said.

However, Adams decided to play tennis in his final three years at Litchfield because he liked the coach, John Carlson Sr., who is the father of Minnesota Vikings tight end John Carlson Jr.

“I think being an athlete I wanted to try new things,” Adams added.

Adams remembers showing up at tennis events and other players would have large tennis bags filled with multiple expensive rackets. Adams and his partner had one racquet each and a water bottle, wearing John Deere and McDonald’s caps.

Adams said his tennis doubles partner called him “Thunderdome.”

After high school, Adams went to Alaska to play junior hockey and lasted there less than a season. Adams, who likes to weight lift, said he got too big to be an effective hockey player. One of his coaches told him: “You are the best player for the first 20 seconds and the worst player for the next 20 seconds.”

“I was like a 250-pound man on skates,” Adams said.

Adams then decided to go to Bemidji State to play football. He spent two seasons with the Beavers before he transferred to Concordia.

While Adams’ size and production are hard to miss, he would rather do his job under the radar.

“I like being on the (defensive) side of the ball and being the guys that (are) silently getting the job done,” said Adams, who has benched as much as 540 pounds. “I kind of like being more unnoticed. We’re like down in the trenches.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com