by Mason Kelley
Adam Seery grew up playing soccer. In his mind, there was nothing better than being out on the soccer field. Then, his dad suggested he give football a try.
The idea didn't sit well with Seery.
"I had played soccer for six years," the fullback says. "I wasn't happy about it. I says, 'No, dad, I don't want to play football.'"
After a little poking and prodding, Seery agreed and turned out for a pee-wee team coached by a buddy of Seery's father. When Richard Seery picked his son up from his first practice later that day, Adam had just one thing to tell his father:
"I'm never playing soccer again."
And he never did.
"After the first hit a little flame lit inside of me," the senior says.
Seery starred at quarterback and safety at Albuquerque's El Dorado High School, a team that turned out five Division-I players. Seery wanted to play in college, but in New Mexico, he knew he had to be his own recruiter.
"I wanted to get out of New Mexico and so I sent a bunch of tapes out," Seery says. "It is really hard to get recruited when you are from New Mexico. I decided that it was going to take a lot of work to get my name out there. I wrote the 17 best schools I wanted to go to and out of those 17 schools, there were 10 or so that were really interested in me."
Of those 17 schools, Washington stood out the most. The tradition and success of the football program was appealing, but it was the personal attention he received from then-quarterbacks coach Cary Conklin that sold him on Washington.
Unfortunately, by the time Seery made his way to Washington, Conklin was gone, as Rick Neuheisel's staff took the reins in 1999. A second surprise awaited Seery just before coming to camp, when he learned that he was being switched to linebacker, a position he had never played. Over the next four-plus years, Seery would change positions three more times, and would inherit yet another position coach in 2003.
"I just want to play," says Seery, who has done everything in his power to get on the field. "It has been frustrating at times, but I come from a family that teaches you to keep a positive attitude and good things will happen. The cream will rise to the top and that is the main thing I have kept in my mind the whole time."
Seery has played quarterback, linebacker, safety and now fullback for the Huskies. Aside from some goal line sets at fullback, Seery has had to earn his playing time on special teams, a task he embraces.
"I love special teams. Last year against Oregon I was on kick-off, punt and kick-off return, and that was an absolute blast because we were all over them. I played a lot in the game, had a great game. I had a tackle and that was really exciting."
It is his mindset of never giving up and doing whatever it takes to taste the field that has made Seery successful. He hasn't played as much as he would like, but he has used his Husky career to learn valuable life lessons.
"I have learned to roll with the punches," Seery says. "To learn how to wheel and deal in terms of trying to get myself on the field and get myself playing. I have been good at a lot of positions but I haven't been great.
Every team needs a guy like Seery. He's a plug, versatile enough to fill holes anywhere on the field.
In the Huskies' season-opener at Ohio State, however, Seery found himself plugged into yet another new role - starter. After battling sophomore Ty Eriks for playing time throughout the fall, Seery was named the starter in the week leading up to camp.
"He's earned it," said head coach Keith Gilbertson at the time.
It didn't take long for Seery to become involved in the action, as he caught a pass for nine yards on the Huskies' first play from scrimmage.
It shouldn't be a surprise that senior quarterback Cody Pickett knew where to look for Seery - the two were roommates in 1999, when both were freshman quarterbacks battling for time behind Marques Tuiasosopo. Their careers have headed in different directions, but they remain friends.
Making friends is something Seery has never had trouble with a quality handed down to him by his parents. He also credits them for the drive and determination that have kept him on the team for five years, despite the numerous obstacles.
"They have been with me since day one, through all of the ups and downs," he says. "They are the people that keep me going. I talked to my dad pretty much every day through two-a-days."
Football has taken up Seery's life ever since that one practice in fifth grade. He has worked and worked to be a success at it, but his career is winding down. There may be an opportunity to play in the Arena League or maybe the CFL. Seery would welcome the opportunity, but is also looking forward to life after football.
"I think I may end up in the southwest somewhere on some business venture," Seery says of life after football. "I want to make a lot of money and be successful."
If there is one thing football has taught Seery, it's that hard work can get you where you want. The key to life - not to mention getting on the field - is versatility, and Seery has mastered that art.
Throughout all of the position changes and hardship, Seery has never given up the game he fell in love with years ago. No matter what happens during the remainder of his football career, Seery will always have that first hit that sparked a flame inside him, a flame that has pushed him to never give up until he earns some playing time.
"A lot of guys would have turned away, transferred or something else," he says. "My dad has always told me that, if nothing else, you never quit. I stuck it out. I am here. I am playing and having a great time."