When Davante Adams was taking a summer course in high school, he couldn’t help but notice the Green Bay Packers receiver working out on campus.
Adams would commit to playing football at Fresno State. He wouldn’t become the first professional his receivers coach, Keith Williams, would tutor in college. Before coaching Adams, Williams helped guide a young James Jones at San Jose State.
So it was a reunion when Adams saw Jones inside the Packers team facilities this week. He first met Jones during that summer in high school. Both grew up in central California, near the San Jose area. Their high schools were only 30 miles apart.
Since that first meeting, Jones said he and Adams remained close. Eventually, he began working out with Jones, who always walked away from those training sessions impressed with the young receiver.
“Tay is like my little brother,” Jones said of Adams. “I knew him for a long time back at home in California. I always told him he has everything it takes to be special. He’s going to be a player in this league.”
Adams calls Jones a mentor, someone he’s looked up to through college and his rookie season with the Packers. Now, he can also call him a teammate.
The duo will be the Packers’ primary perimeter targets – with Randall Cobb in the slot – whenever the offense lines up in three-receiver sets. Adams said he and Jones are similar players. Both are 6-foot-1, roughly 210 pounds, tough and durable on the outside.
Perhaps most important, Adams said, he and Jones already know each other’s games so well. Their years of experience could help spark a passing game staggering from Jordy Nelson’s season-ending ACL injury.
“It’s obviously very fortunate to be able to have (Jones here),” Adams said, “because not many people have a relationship on the team with somebody since they were in high school, and now I get to play with him in the pros. It’s kind of like we have a little extra connection there.
“He knows what I’m capable of, and I know what he’s capable of. I know that our styles and the way we play is similar, but we’re different and complement each other in other ways.”
Adams admitted it’s a bit surreal to share the same locker room with Jones. Just a few stalls down, his mentor will never be far away.
It was a successful rookie season for Adams, who caught 38 passes for 446 yards and three touchdowns. Still, entering his second season, Adams knows there’s plenty of room left to grow. Being around Jones every day should help.
“He’s going to come in,” Adams said, “and continue to do the type of things that he’s been doing from a mentor-type standpoint, because this is his ninth year in the league. So he’s got a lot of experience he can bring, and knowledge. He’s been helping me out even the little bit that he has been here, and he’s going to be a big help in that room.”
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