CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Ashlon Adams looks the part.
Signed as a 6-4, 220-pound wide receiver, Adams continued to grow physically to the point a year ago the Kingsport native was moved inside to tight end. Yes, at 6-4, 249 pounds, he looked the part of a tight end.
But Adams caught only five passes a year ago for just 31 yards and he looked unsure on some passes. Looking the part is one thing, but seeing is another thing.
"We found out Ashlon has glasses, but he didn't wear them on the field," APSU coach Rick Christophel said. "We have him some contacts now. You been in this business long enough, you observe some things and it makes you wonder-the ball was right at his face sometimes and he was backing up. He can see now and you hope that will help him take that next step."
In fact, if Adams looked the part previously, it isn't even more so now. After a vigorous offseason in the weight room, he came back to campus at 270 pounds and was one of the strongest Govs in the preseason strength test. His increased strength should not only help get him off the line of scrimmage but allow him to block in the team's running game.
"We need Ashlon to step up and I think he started to come out of his shell during the spring," Christophel said.
If Adams has been the so-called pass-catching tight end, then Preston Rouse earned the reputation as the blocking tight end/H-back. He has caught three passes in his career, but his 22 yarder against Wisconsin last season was the Govs longest offensive play of the contest.
Freshmen Xavier Norman and Ben Campbell, a pair of rangy 6-3 athletes, will use 2011 to add bulk to their frames and learn the Govs system. Campbell also is the leading candidate to ascend to APSU's punting duties after four-year starter Ryan Key graduated.