Davante Adams hopes to win the Super Bowl now that he is reunited with his college quarterback Derek Carr over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The two are already battle-tested on the field, playing at Fresno State and breaking five school records between them. But he feared that he would absorb what he had 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 a time in college when he went whitewater rafting with his quarterback on the Upper Kings River in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. They were joined by Carr’s girlfriend, Heather Neal (who is now his wife) and a guide, Ryan Soares.
For Adams, who hails from a community that was once known as the nation’s murder capital, the experience was brand new.
“We don’t do whitewashing in East Palo Alto,” he said.
The journey began smoothly before the crew reached the infamous Banzai Hole, which can rank as high as Class IV, known as a difficult whitewater rafting course on a scale leading up to Class VI. There is also a 75-foot rock face.
Instead of following the number one rule of whitewater rafting – keep paddling – Adams and Carr froze and left all the hand work to Soares and Neil. One by one, they all fell out of the raft and were released screaming for air, but all swam safely.
“After the boat was cleared, we talked once again on the shore, about how important it is to never stop paddling,” Soares said. “From that point on, he was the best paddler I’ve ever had.”
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They’ve all gone through shackles, which 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 messaged her the next day. I couldn’t help myself.”
The Raiders, led by new head coach Josh McDaniel, begin their march to the Super Bowl on Sunday when they open the regular season against the Los Angeles Chargers.
This article was originally featured on USA Today: Davante Adams Recalls Scary Whitewater Rafting Trip With Derek Carr