Adam Randall’s 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame paled in comparison to Clemson’s colossal Memorial Stadium that encapsulated him Nov. 13.
As he stood on the turf field, he took a moment to look around at every fan in the stands. He was in awe of how loud Death Valley became while the crowd cheered as sophomore linebacker Trenton Simpson carried the American flag down the hill followed by the rest of the Tigers team during Military Appreciation Day.
Clemson’s opponent (UConn) didn’t matter as much as Randall realizing that this time next year, it’ll be him touching Howard’s Rock and running down the hill. The experience was a refreshing reminder of why the Myrtle Beach wide receiver chose Clemson almost a year ago.
“You go through this recruiting process, you get pulled in so many different directions by every which school,” he said, “and then once you make a decision, you don’t really need validation from anybody else. If you go into that stadium and you see all those people yelling and screaming for the team when they run down the hill, it gives you a sense of joy and happiness that you made the decision to come there.”
Randall, a four-star recruit, will be inking his national letter of intent with Clemson during the early signing period next week and enrolling in January. It’s not a decision he took lightly and understands what he’s signing up for by leaving high school early.
“When you look at it, every true freshman that has a standout year, they go in January,” Randall said. “That really played a big part in my decision. I’m ready, and I’ve been at Myrtle Beach for a long period of time just part of the program and stuff like that. I have all my classes done, so there’s really nothing else for me to do down here.”
Tigers like Bryan Bresee, Myles Murphy, Trenton Simpson and D.J. Uiagalelei from the Class of 2020 and Will Shipley, Beaux Collins and Trenton Simpson from the Class of 2021 provide enough evidence for Randall to feel confident in his decision to early enroll. Each had a level of success in their freshman seasons that was aided by getting a jump on learning not just the ins and outs of football, but college life.
Besides, Randall having fulfilled his academic requirements, winning a state championship and becoming a record holder at Myrtle Beach leaves little to be desired. That’s about as much as anyone could ask for when it comes to a high school football career.
The Class 4A state championship takes the cake, though. He won a title his freshman year with his brother, Austin, on the team in 2018 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. Austin had an interception as the Seahawks, quarterbacked by South Carolina’s Luke Doty, downed Greer 37-21. It was Myrtle Beach’s eighth overall state championship and first since 2013.
A close second career highlight for the younger Randall is etching his name into history books after totaling 255 receiving yards in a 35-6 win over rival North Myrtle Beach on Oct. 29. What made it even sweeter was that it was Senior Night and a goal of Adam’s for some time. He came close last year when he had 217 receiving yards against Wilson — the record was 232 — but missed a late pass.
This year, though, Randall crossed the item off his list. Revenge was also on his mind considering North Myrtle Beach had beaten the Seahawks twice last year, including in the playoffs.
“Last year when I played them, I was hurt,” Randall explained. “I had an ankle injury so coming into this game, they thought that they could cover me one-on-one. As a passing team, that’s what you kind of want. I was able to get around some of their DBs, break a couple of tackles and get the 255 yards.”
Much like the rest of his career, Randall’s final game at Myrtle Beach ended in a crazy way. The Seahawks’ 2-point conversion rate failed, sending Beaufort into the second round of the playoffs with a 20-19 victory.
“It was a high-intensity playoff game,” Randall said. “It just went back and forth. … Unfortunately, we didn’t get it (2-point conversion), so that’s the way football works. Sometimes it’s tough. It’s a tough game, but I’m forever thankful for what Myrtle Beach has given me and what they have given me throughout the years. I wouldn’t ask for anything else.”
Plenty has happened since then, including a home visit with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham on Dec. 1. The best part for Randall was being able to show his two future coaches his hometown of Little River and talk about topics not associated with football.
Those conversations are part of what drew Randall to Clemson.
“It’s not all about football to them. It’s about becoming a good man and a productive citizen in life,” he said. “It’s always a good time when you can fellowship and have good conversation with the people that you know and appreciate having around.”
High school, as a whole, is almost over for Randall with college — and Memorial Stadium — looming. The Tigers’ 44-7 win over UConn is the last Clemson game Randall saw as a recruit. The next time he steps onto the field at Death Valley — or watches the Cheez-It Bowl — he’ll be a Tiger.
“I’m excited to get on campus and be able to hopefully make an impact as soon as I get up there,” he said. “Excited to be able to get work in as a college athlete. Get bigger, stronger, faster with all the things that they give to you. I’m ready. That’s basically what it is.”