Davante Adams has expectations of winning a Super Bowl now that he’s reunited with his college quarterback Derek Carr on the Las Vegas Raiders.
The two are already battle-tested on the field, playing at Fresno State and breaking five school records between the two of them. But they had a scare that eclipsed anything they’ve experienced on the gridiron.
“We almost died together,” the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver said in an ESPN cover story published Tuesday.
Adams is referring to the time in college he went whitewater rafting with his quarterback on the Upper Kings River in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. They were joined by Carr’s girlfriend, Heather Neel (who is now his wife), and a guide, Ryan Soares.
For Adams, who is from a community that was once known as the country’s murder capital, the experience was something totally new.
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“We don’t whitewater raft in East Palo Alto,” he said.
The trip started smoothly enough before the crew got to the notorious Banzai Hole, which can rank as high as a Class IV, known as a difficult whitewater rafting course on a scale that goes up to Class VI. There’s also a 75-foot rock face.
Instead of obeying the number one rule of whitewater rafting — keep paddling — Adams and Carr froze and left all the arm work to Soares and Neel. One by one, they all fell out of the raft and were left clamoring for air, but all swam to safety.
“After we cleared the boat, we had a talk on the shore, one more time, about how important it is to never stop paddling,” Soares said. “From that point on, they were the best paddlers I ever had.”
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All of the bonding they’ve gone through together made Carr adamant that Adams would join him after eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers. When Adams and the Packers lost to the San Francisco 49ers in a divisional round playoff game last year, the quarterback was ready to make his move.
“I’m not going to lie,” he said. “I texted him the next day. I couldn’t help myself.”
The Raiders, under new head coach Josh McDaniels, start their march to the Super Bowl on Sunday when they open the regular season against the Los Angeles Chargers.