During his time at South Carolina, Trey Adkins has defied all odds. The Simpsonville, S.C., native grew up less than two hours from Columbia with a dream of playing for the Gamecocks. Over the last few years, that has become a reality. While the 24-year-old has not had an easy path, he has written an unforgettable story.
The Hillcrest High School product began his college football career in 2018 as a walk-on. Adkins did not see any game action in his first season but has impressed with his determination and ability to overcome adversity.
“Avoiding injuries has been key for me,” said Adkins. “I don’t think people realize how many injuries happen in college football and how that affects players’ ability to reach the next level. Being a walk-on, I have had to prove myself over the last three years. Walk-ons are kind of looked down on, and you have to show your coaches and teammates that you belong consistently. It isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.”
As a sophomore, Adkins saw the first game action of his career. In four games, he caught three passes for 58 yards. His best game came against Appalachian State where he had 33 receiving yards, including his longest catch of the season. It was also a game that Adkins worked towards his whole life.
“I had just come back from an injury, and that was my first real playing time,” he explained. “It was surreal to be out there. I had dreamed of that as a little kid and having that come true was incredible.”
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) December 23, 2021
Adkins earns a scholarship
While Adkins has worked hard on the gridiron, his experience has also shaped who he is. On top of playing football and going to class, Adkins delivered pizza to pay his tuition. He worked three to four days a week and averaged 30 miles a shift.
In 2021, that all changed. The walk-on received a scholarship in front of his team at a summer practice in June.
“We had workouts that morning and then came back for our second practice of the day,” said Adkins. “We warmed up, and then Coach Beamer called us into the huddle, which isn’t rare. He was talking and said we need to have a good practice. Then he calls my name out and says, ‘Where’s Trey Adkins?’ I raised my hand, and my heart was pounding because I went to class, I was on time for football. I didn’t think I got in trouble. Then he goes, ‘You need to have a great practice because you don’t need to deliver pizza anymore.’ My teammates went crazy, and being in the middle of everyone, I almost broke down, but it was a dream come true and a huge weight off my shoulders.”
After a solid junior season, Adkins is preparing for his second bowl game. He has appeared in seven games this year and caught two passes. Regardless of the outcome, it is a game that holds special meaning considering it will be played in Charlotte, which is close to home for Adkins.
“We [traveled] to Charlotte on Christmas night,” said Adkins. “The last bowl game we went to was during my first year on the team, so It’s been a few years. I’m excited and it’s not far home so I [didn’t] have to travel very far.”
Regardless of the outcome, Adkins still has one year left in South Carolina and one chapter to write with a new quarterback under center.
“I’m excited for next year and to catch passes from Spencer Rattler,” said Adkins. “Being a walk-on has made me play with a chip on my shoulder, and it’s taught me not to take anything for granted. It’s made me who I am.”
Follow Jamie Gatlin on Twitter @JamieGatlin17
Main Image Credit: Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA