Former Clemson Tiger Gaines Adams Passes

Jan. 17, 2010

CLEMSON, SC ( Gaines Adams, one of just three players in Clemson football history to be a named a unanimous first-team All-American, died Sunday morning, January 17, in his home town of Greenwood, SC. He was 26 years old.

Greenwood County Coroner James Coursey said Adams was dead upon arrival at Self Regional Memorial Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 8:21 AM.

Adams lettered for the Tigers from 2003-06 and finished his career with 28 sacks, tied for first in school history with Michael Dean Perry. He was named first-team All-American by every service in 2006 when he was also named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He was second in the overall ACC Player of the Year voting that year to Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech.

He was also one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award and one of six finalists from the Ted Hendricks Award in 2006 when he had 63 total tackles and 12.5 sacks.

Over his career, Adams had 168 tackles, including 44.5 tackles for loss and 28 sacks. He played in 48 games, 26 as a starter, and had 21 passes broken up, most ever by a Clemson defensive lineman, three fumble recoveries and five caused fumbles.

Adams received his undergraduate degree from Clemson in December of 2006. He came to Clemson after one year at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. He played his high school football at Cambridge Academy in Greenwood, a program that had eight-man football.

In April of 2007, Adams was the number-four selection of the NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs, tied for the highest draft choice (Banks McFadden 1940) for a Clemson football player.

Adams had just finished his third season in the NFL. He played half of this past season with Tampa Bay, then was traded to Chicago. He had 13.5 sacks in his 47-game NFL career.

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.