100 Moments: "747" Lights Up the Skies
Friday, August 24, 2012
100 Moments:

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by remembering one of the most prolific passers in Tennessee State history.

Joe Adams arrived on the TSU campus in 1977, and left as one of the school's most celebrated quarterbacks.

Looking at the Tennessee State record book is like looking at Adams's rap sheet. Adams left TSU as the school's all-time leader in passing yards, passes attempted, passes completed, touchdown passes, 250 and 300-yard passing games.

Joe Adams was so proficient at passing and possessed such a strong arm that he earned the nickname "747", in reference to the Boeing aircraft.

When Adams attended the school, he was named an All-American by several publications four times and he helped lead the Tigers to the 1979 Black College National Championship. 

On Oct. 18 1980, Adams had the finest day throwing the ball that any TSU quarterback had ever had. In a 35-17 win over Alabama State, Adams threw for 417 yards- a school record that stood for three seasons.

During his 1980 campaign, Adams had a school-record four consecutive 300-yard games en route to throwing for a then school-record 2,848 yards. Also during 1980, Adams broke his own record of touchdown passes in a season with 30.

"747" led the team in offense during all four of his seasons while gaining more yards every year he played.

Adams's gaudy numbers got the attention of the NFL's San Francisco 49'ers who selected the TSU quarterback in the 12th round of the 1981 draft.

San Francisco didn't have a place for Adams due to Joe Montana entering his prime, so Adams elected to play football in Canada.

Adams joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL in 1982 and had a great first season. He threw for over 3,300 yards, had 19 touchdowns and started all 16 games.

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.

Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.

Follow TSU Athletics on Facebook.com/TSUTigers and Twitter @TSU_Tigers.