The college football season in Texas starts a week earlier than normal with a Week 0 matchup between North Texas and UTEP. To celebrate us making it through another off-season, we’re counting down the 50 most important players in Texas every day until Aug. 27. The list isn’t necessarily about which players are the best, though talent plays a major factor in most important.
No. 45: Ife Adeyi, Sam Houston junior wide receiver
The Adeyi family is one of the most athletic in current college football. Ife Adeyi has a brother (Ayo) playing running back at North Texas and another (Ore) playing defensive back at Northwestern. Ife Adeyi was a three-star prospect out of Mansfield Legacy High School in the 2018 recruiting cycle. He caught 48 passes for 1,065 yards and 14 touchdowns over his last two seasons on varsity. He was also the placekicker and a member of the 100- and 200-meter relay temas that claimed the 2018 Texas Class 5A state titles.
Adeyi played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2018, catching 31 passes for 513 yards and five touchdowns. He was one of only 19 freshmen in all of FCS with at least 500 receiving yards. He was a second-team All-WAC selection in the pandemic-altered 2020 season, which carried over to 2021. The Kats won an FCS title that season as Adeyi caught 30 passes for 588 yards and five total touchdowns. His 19.6 yards per catch led FCS in the spring season. He ranked second in the WAC last year with 10 touchdown catches after racking up 54 grabs for 747 yards. He caught a touchdown in seven of the 12 games he played in during the 2021 fall campaign.
The 5-10, 170-pound speedster can blow the top off any defense. He’s averaged 16 yards a catch on 115 career receptions at Sam Houston. That number dipped to 13.7 in the fall season of 2021 as his reception numbers climbed from the low 30s in his first two seasons to 54 last campaign. He’s also become a better weapon in the red zone by more than doubling his touchdown production last season compared to his first two years on campus. He entered the fall of 2021 with eight touchdown receptions on 61 grabs. He scored 10 receiving touchdowns in the fall on 54 catches. He’s a vertical weapon and a player who can take a short pass the distance. He’s tremendous after the catch and his track speed makes him a matchup nightmare for most secondaries in the WAC.
The duo of Adeyi and Cody Chrest should ease the loss of quarterback Eric Schmidt. Those two are security blankets for whichever quarterback wins the job heading into the fall season. That is most likely going to be Georgia Tech transfer Jordan Yates. Adeyi offers the new quarterback a deep threat who demands safety help over the top. That creates more room underneath for receivers such as Chrest, and it also helps keep a safety out of the box for the run game. Sam Houston averaged a yard more per attempt than their opponents last season and Adeyi is a big reason why. A repeat of his 2021 fall performance puts the Sam Houston offense in great position to be explosive despite numerous losses on that side of the football.
PREVIOUSLY ON THE LONE STAR 50 COUNTDOWN
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