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May 19, 2012

Adams quits football to focus on baseball career

Wide receiver Brian Adams has decided to focus on his baseball career and will no longer play football, Adams and Kentucky football coach Joker Phillips announced in a statement on Saturday.

Adams, who did not practice with the football team this spring, would have been a redshirt junior in football in fall 2012. He had five catches for 46 yards during the 2011 season.

"It has been a tremendous honor to play two sports here at Kentucky," Adams said in the statement. "I can't thank Coach Phillips, the football staff, and Coach Henderson and the baseball staff enough for allowing me the opportunity to do what millions of kids dream of doing at the top level in college athletics. At this point in my career and after talking with Coach Phillips and Coach Henderson, and spending time praying about it with my family, it is time for me to focus on baseball. The University of Kentucky has provided me ... a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and I am proud to be a Wildcat."

Adams arrived at UK with a football scholarship after being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the summer of 2009. He redshirted that year in football, but set a blazing pace as a true freshman in baseball. He started the final eight games of the season in left field and hit .472 on the year.

Phillips mentioned Adams throughout spring 2011 as a player who could make a difference for the Wildcats. The same 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame and speed that made him a star in baseball showed flashes of big play ability in football practice.

But it never came to fruition. He finishes his UK football career with eight catches for 69 yards. As of Saturday, Adams was hitting .250 on the season for the baseball team. He went 0-4 with three strikeouts in Saturday's 11-3 loss at Mississippi State.

"When we signed Brian as a two-sport athlete who was drafted by Cincinnati coming out of high school, we knew that eventually the time would come for him to make a decision about his long-term athletic future," Phillips said. "We thank Brian for his contributions to Kentucky football and look forward to watching him during his baseball career."

Adams, who will likely be an MLB draft pick this summer, is the ninth player to leave the football team since the end of the season.

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