Former Husker fires up Hartington students

Jake Higgins
Cedar County News
HARTINGTON — Demoine Adams knows all about perseverance.
In 2002, the former Husker football player graduated in three years with a degree in political science along with five minors.
It was a long journey from taking the ACT’s eight times during high school to qualify to play college football.
Adams was one of the few college players to make that next jump and went on to play professional football.
With his football career now behind him, he now works as a motivational speaker — something he’s done for 10 years now.
On Friday, he gave two speeches at Hartington-Newcastle, one to elementary students and one to high school students.

Demoine Adams signs teachers shirts after speaking to the elementary students.

Adams’ speeches focused on helping the students realize that giving their full effort at school every day is important.
“I’ve been doing it since I was in college,” said Adams. “I took a speaking class in college. Just the passion to give back and make a difference, I’ve been doing it as a profession for the past ten years while working for the TeamMates mentoring program that was started by Dr. Tom Osborne.”
Demoine Adams, or De-Mo as his teammates and friends have always called him, told the students the classroom is their game field, and that they need to bring their ‘A’ game every day.
“I could not go to college if it wasn’t for my education,” said Adams. “I couldn’t play football if it wasn’t for my education, and just living out my dream playing in the NFL and doing what I love to do every day — it all started with my education. So that’s really the importance of what I talked about today. If students truly want to be winners in life they gotta be winners in school.”
Adams used a variety of catch phrases throughout his speeches, saying he hoped one of them would get stuck in a student’s head and make them want to work harder. Adams told the students as a Husker he learned to bring his ‘A’ game every day, not just on Saturdays.
“It is really what made me who I am today. Just understanding that hard work pays off, you reap what you sow, but most importantly, to live the American dream what’s important in this country is education. So, all of the reputation, social media, none of that will get you in the door and keep you in the door, It is really that education.”
During his time in the NFL, Adams played for the Green Bay Packers, the Tennessee Titans, and the San Francisco 49ers.
After ending his pro football career, he continued to work on his education. He is now studying to earn his PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and “his research includes Leadership, Motivation, and Sociology,” according to his website.
Adams was a first generation college student, and he spoke about the doubts that were in his mind as he worked to earn a 21 on the ACT. He took the test eight times, gradually earning a better score each time, and he said that taught him a lot about perseverance. Adams hopes to share that perseverance with students now.
“Every day they have an opportunity, to learn, to get better, to make their grades stronger, and to practice. As a football player we didn’t just give our best on Saturdays, we gave our best everyday. So that is what I really wanted the students to know. Everyday it takes a maximum effort, stone focus, and relentless commitment.”
After he finished his speech, Adams stayed in the HNS gymnasium signing autographs and taking pictures with students and teachers until he helped everyone that was willing to wait.
“Being a Husker is definitely a platform, and I just use this platform to make a difference, to really shed light on the importance of making positive choices, of coming to school every day, being respectful and focusing on what truly makes them a winner, which is what made me a winner, and this simply is receiving an education,” said Adams.
Adams did find himself signing some interesting items though, as students frantically searched for something to get the former Husker’s signature on.
“Someone gave me their shorts to sign, someone tried to give me their shoes, but the surprising thing was the number of iPhones that I had to sign,” said Adams. “So, hoping they don’t try to upgrade, but like I said it is all about the kids. I always want to give students that moment because it means a lot to me to make a difference.”