Whether he is in Albuquerque serving meals to the homeless or in Ateiku filling desperately needed medical prescriptions, Garrett Adcock has been at the front of the line, willing and able to help others.
He would have it no other way. While the fifth-year offensive lineman has helped pave the way in New Mexico’s unique triple-option that is run from the pistol formation, the Dallas native has been paving the way in the community and in the classroom.
Though concerns over Ebola and terrorism have at least for the time being prevented Adcock from returning to Ateiku, a village in the West African nation of Ghana, he has made multiple trips to help the plight of its citizenry. In particular, Adcock helped with getting a hospital up and running. He worked in the pharmacy during the 2011 grand opening that attracted more than 3,000 patients the first day.
“We had prescription stacks that were probably two feet high,” he recalled. “We had to go through each one, fill the prescription and hand them to people so they can get home. People traveled hundreds of miles to come to the hospital to get treatment for the first time. That was a moment in my life where I was really glad to be where I was and glad to be helping people. I formed relationships with people that will last a lifetime.”
Adcock’s high school, Dallas Christian, sponsored trips to Ateiku with the idea of creating awareness among its students of the pressing needs in third-world countries. His mother, Christina, and older brother, Chris, who played on the offensive line at Cal, first traveled to Ateiku a couple of years before Garrett’s initial visit. From that point it was automatic he would do what he could to continue to help.
“The goal of my life is to serve others whether it is through law or through medicine,” said Adcock. “No matter what I do I look at the people around me and try to make their lives a little bit better, a little bit easier.”
In the spring of 2015 Adcock received his undergraduate degree in biology. With two years of football eligibility remaining — he redshirted as a freshman in 2012 — he saw an opportunity to further his education in another area. So he decided to attend law school and this season he is the only second-year law student among Football Bowl Subdivision players.
“I completed my undergraduate degree in three years and that meant I had two more years to do something on scholarship, so I decided to give law school a shot,” said the two-time Wuerffel Trophy nominee, three-time Mountain West Conference All-Academic honoree and UNM athletics winner of the Director’s Chair for graduating with 4.0 GPA. “That is what I always wanted to do and this is my only opportunity to ever do it. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work out or not, but it did and it has been great.”
It is great what Adcock has been able to do throughout Albuquerque as a volunteer in the homeless community, as a mentor at a youth ministry and as a coach at football camps.
“Going out and really taking a look at the needs of the community and try to service that need through whatever means are available to me,” he said when asked about such efforts. “That has kind of been the motto of my life. What I try to do is serve others.”
To accomplish as much as Adcock has at such a young age requires not only exemplary effort, but high levels of patience, discipline and leadership. He credits football, specifically being in the trenches on the offensive line, for not only acquiring such characteristics, but having a feel for knowing when to alter course on the fly.
“It teaches you how to be a leader,” he said of the sport. “There are situations where you can step up and lead, situations that require effective communication, which is a big thing. There are times when you have to say what has to be said and you cannot really dance around it because on the (offensive) line there really isn’t time. That has carried over into other parts of my life through teamwork and collaborative effort.”
While Adcock certainly has the leadership skills, he admittedly does not have the athletic ability of many of his teammates. Still, his point when it comes to effort is that anybody can make themselves and those around them better by expending a little mental energy.
“I know I am not blessed with all the athletic ability in the world, but I strive to perfect the things that do not take (physical) talent,” he said. “Working hard, the effort and the knowledge of the game are ways in which I kind of make up for my lack stature, if you will.”
It is hard to imagine Adcock lacking stature in much of anything else.
[ed. note: Garrett Adcock announced his retirement from football due to injury on October 19. He says he will continue to spend time around the team helping to coach his teammates. Coach Bob Davie said, “(Adcock) epitomizes what a student-athlete is at any school in this country, but particularly what a Lobo student-athlete is. He’s an unbelievable, unbelievable young man.”]