GRAYSON PRATHER | STAFF REPORTER
He lead the team in assists and shots in 2013.
He was named a part of the All-Rookie Team in 2012 for the Atlantic-10.
He is tied with David Goldsmith for the highest amount of goals this season for Butler.
He was a member of the Vardar SC Freiburg Club, a national youth club soccer team, for three years.
Yet Jeff Adkins, a junior from Shelby Township, Michigan is just like any other college student. His journey has not come without its challenges.
“Freshman year, I didn’t really necessarily get along with too many of my teammates because I still had that cocky attitude,” he said. “Looking back on it now, I shouldn’t have been that way because I wasn’t ‘the man’.”
Head coach Paul Snape attributes Adkins’ growth to the veteran leadership he had around him when he came into the program.
“I think he’s a really great kid,” Snape said. “He listens, he’s coachable, he likes being on time, and he’s loyal. When Jeff came in, he wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I think he might have come across a little bit cocky, a little bit arrogant as well, but I think the leadership around him did a really good job as well.”
Now, Adkins uses his experiences to help the underclassmen on the team.
“I want to be a good example towards the underclassmen especially,” he said. “I know looking back on my freshman year, the upperclassmen just wanted to help me. I kind of rebelled against that and now I just want (my teammates) to realize that it’s a long four years but it’s a short four years.”
Sophomore David Goldsmith said Adkins is the consummate teammate.
“As a teammate, I think he’s great to play with,” Goldsmith said. “He’s good fun to have around the dressing room; the guys always like him. I definitely prefer him to be on my team than the other team.”
Adkins makes it a goal to be encouraging to those around him on the field.
“I talk to people in the way that I’d want to be talked to,” Adkins said. “Especially when you’re on the field in the middle of the game, you don’t want to bring someone down. If there’s an issue on the field, I’ll handle it but I’ll handle it in a way of, ‘This is what you’ve got to do better’.”
Adkins’ attitude reflects the attitude of others he sees in the Butler community.
“There’s so many different families here, the classroom sizes are beautiful, being able to walk the campus is beautiful and I just think everyone has a good heart here,” he said. “It’s cliche, but The Butler Way is really a true thing. Everyone is truly kind here.”
Snape said he has seen Adkins’ talent help Butler.
“He’s got a lot of talent,” Snape said. “He’s got a lot of technique; his technical abilities are very good. He’s quick, he’s agile and he’s got good balance as well.”
Now, Adkins is focused on helping his team win.
“My team goals would obviously be winning a Big East championship and making a deep run into the NCAA tournament,” Adkins said.