Keith Adams (American football)

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This article is about the American football player. For other people with this name, see Keith Adams (disambiguation).
Keith Adams
No. 51, 53, 57, 59
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-11-22) November 22, 1979 (age 37)
Place of birth: Norwood, Massachusetts
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 238 lb (108 kg)
Career information
High school: Atlanta (GA) Westlake
College: Clemson
NFL Draft: 2001 / Round: 7 / Pick: 232
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 85
Games started: 23
Tackles: 160
Forced fumbles: 3
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Keith A. Adams (born November 22, 1979) is a former American professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons. He played college football for Clemson University, and received consensus All-American honors. The Tennessee Titans chose him in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft, and he played professionally for the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns of the NFL.

Early years[edit]

Adams was born in Norwood, Massachusetts. He attended Westlake High School in Atlanta, Georgia, where he played high school football for the Westlake Lions.

College career[edit]

While attending Clemson University, Adams played for the Clemson Tigers football team from 1998 to 2000.

Following his 1999 sophomore season, he registered 186 tackles (led the nation), 35 tackles for loss (led the nation) and 16 sacks (second in the nation). He received first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) selection, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and Football News first-team All-American honors.

As a junior in 2000, he was again a first-team All-ACC selection and was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American.[1][2]

At the end of his junior season he declared his intention to enter the NFL Draft. He finished his college career after playing in 35 games, ranking sixth in school history in career tackles (379), third in career tackles for loss (54), third in career sacks (23), number one in tackles in a game, number one in tackles in a season, number one in sacks in a game (4), number one in sacks in a season (16), number one in tackles for loss in a game (6) and number one in tackles for loss in a season (35).[3]

In 2011, he was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame.[4] He majored in parks, recreation and tourism management, and returned to Clemson to complete his bachelor's degree and graduate in 2013.

Professional career[edit]


Adams was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the seventh round (232nd overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft, after dropping because of his height. He played throughout the preseason, but was a roster cut on August 31.[5] He was signed by the Dallas Cowboys to their practice squad and promoted to the active roster on November 21. He played in four games on special teams.


He was allocated to NFL Europe and played in ten games for the Berlin Thunder, finishing with 55 tackles, one sack and also played in World Bowl X, while helping the Thunder win their second consecutive Championship.

He began the NFL season with the Cowboys and started 5 games at middle linebacker, replacing an injured Dat Nguyen and registering 27 tackles. After head coach Dave Campo decided to start Markus Steele in his place, he was waived on October 22, to make room for guard Jeremy McKinney.

The Philadelphia Eagles released Quinton Caver to claim Adams off waivers on October 21.[6] He played mainly on special teams under assistant coach John Harbaugh.[7]


He played in 15 games for the Eagles and led the NFC in special teams tackles (30).[8]


He played in all 16 regular season games, making two starts. He recorded 54 defensive tackles and 24 tackles on special teams (second on the team). He started at weakside linebacker in place of an injured Mark Simoneau, in three postseason games, but returned to a reserve role in Super Bowl XXXIX.[9]


He was named the starter at weakside linebacker over Mark Simoneau, playing in all 16 games and registering a career-high 101 tackles.


Adams was picked up by the Carolina Panthers as an unrestricted free agent on April 13,[10] but was then cut by the team on September 2. On September 3, he was signed by the Miami Dolphins. He wasn't re-signed at the end of the season.


On December 12, he signed with the Cleveland Browns as a free agent.[11] He wasn't re-signed at the end of the season.

Personal life[edit]

Adams is the son of 15-year NFL veteran Julius Adams. Married to Rayyah Adams


External links[edit]