Adam Reed has always loved to play football. At the age of five, he already started playing the sport, but it wasn’t really an issue for his mother Lisa Reed because there was no tackling. Though he was fast and strong, she never knew how good he was. In the succeeding years, he just said he wanted to pursue playing, so she decided to support him all the way.
Lisa adopted him when he was just 2. She later realized that he was not growing at the same rate as kids his age. Desperate to find out why Adam wasn’t growing, she decided to consult a number of doctors and endocrinologists. Although the boy was given various growth hormones, unfortunately, his body did not respond. Because of that, they decided to stop the medication.
“I’m not short. I’m small. I’m undersized,” Adam simply explained of his condition.
Now 17-year-old Adam is playing for the football team of American Heritage School. He is a fifth-string running back, playing during some change-of-pace situations. Because of his ability to turn on the speed whenever he needs to, he is becoming one of the most popular players of the team.
Apparently, his team is taking football seriously. Headed by Coach Mike Rumph, a former first-round pick and champion Miami Hurricane, and four other former NFL players, they have recently brought home back-to-back 5A state championships in football.
Adam was discovered by Coach Rumph last summer in the weight room. He was impressed by his determination and hard work. He said “Adam has always been a 10-rep kid, when I ask for 10 reps, he gives me 12. He makes my job easy.”
Even if he’s only 4 feet and 5 inches in height, he knows a lot about the sport. In fact, he doesn’t let his stature slow him down on the field. He stated, “I’ve always been this height, so I might as well get used to it.”
He also learned a tough lesson during a game where he missed a block. Coach Rumph pulled him aside and said, “If you’re going to get in the game, you need to do your job.”
So in the next game, Adam did his part and went up against his counterpart—a man whose height was more than 6 foot. For this year, he has already played in four games, carrying the ball fives times for 13 yards.
Adam said, “I feel like Coach Rumph understands me more than others. He’s always understood how badly I wanted it, and he never doubted me.”
Whenever there are practice games, Adam always checks the playbook tied to his forearm. Coach Rumph said, “He’s very coachable. He doesn’t just get in the game, he gets in the play. Some kids, you have to tell them the same thing over and over again. Not Adam—he’s one of those kids that learns the first you tell him something.”
“I would love to have him on my coaching staff one day. Who better to coach and teach someone to never give up than someone who’s been doing it his whole life,” added Coach Rumph.
Coach Rumph remembered how he and his players used to tease one another in the locker room at the end of every practice. He said, “We joke at everybody every day, and he’s not different. When we run reps, players tell him that he has to take 50 steps when they take 20 steps. It’s true, but it’s also funny and we all laugh. He takes triple the steps as everyone else, but he doesn’t let it slow him down.”
Lisa shared that Adam is currently busy filling out college applications. Though she’s uncertain about what he wants to do, she’s quite sure that he’ll be involved in football because he lives for the sport.
As far as his college education is concerned, Adam is doubtful whether he’ll get any football offers. He expressed his opinion, “I’d like to, of course, but I understand if I don’t.”
During one of the team’s games, Coach Rumph was asked about the risks Adam will be facing when he goes against players two or three times his size. “I know it’s a risk with everyone I put in a game. With him, I just see way more of an upside if he gets in a game. He’s inspirational to the team and the fans, and he won’t let anything hold him back from playing,” he replied. “He knows exactly what to do when he gets in the game.”
Adam, on the other hand, was asked about how he would feel during the game. He just said, “Other people get nervous; I don’t get nervous. When I get hit, I have muscle to protect myself.”
After an exciting 38–15 victory over Hallandale, Coach Rumph’s team celebrated. The win was credited to Adam’s 3-yard run. The coach said, “Adam sets an example for the younger players. They understand that nothing was handed to him, and he’s worked for everything he’s achieved.”
Even if his football playing days will soon see its end after he graduates from high school, Reed said that he would love to stick to the sport and maybe get into coaching.