For wide receiver Davante Adams and the Fresno State Bulldogs, the 2013 season has begun with a series of grueling and demanding workouts simply known as Red Dawn.
In preparation for spring ball, Adams and the rest of the Bulldogs get up every morning at 4:45 a.m. Monday through Friday, begin workouts at 5:30 and usually wrap things up at 6:30.
The workouts are designed to test the team on every level: physical and mental endurance and stamina. They aren't popular, but according to Adams, they are necessary for the teams' future success in 2013.
"It's a grind," said Adams. "We hate it right now, but we're going to thank the coaches for it later."
For Adams and the Bulldogs, the workouts are just the continuation of a successful 2012 season that saw them win the Mountain West Conference (MWC) in their first season of play.
"Coming from redshirting, 2012 got off to a good start," said Adams. "It was pretty successful, but I'm looking forward to putting in more work and continuing next year."
Playing as a redshirt freshman last year, Adams developed in to one of the most dangerous weapons in head coach Tim DeRuyter's spread offense. And based on the results, it's a system that fits Adams just well.
"They got things going real quick," said Adams. "The guy's a genius; he knows what he's doing."
Usually the benefactor of quarterback Derek Carr's deep, downfield passes, Adams hauled in 89 passes for 1,168 yards and he found the end zone 13 times.
The end result of Adams' emergence helped Fresno State average an impressive 478 yards-per-game last year, good for 16th overall in the NCAA.
While the relationship between receiver and quarterback appears to be solid, Adams acknowledges that there is still room for improvement.
"Every day, we put in work. We never stop," Adams said. "It's there, but it can always get better."
Adams' accomplishments and exciting play didn't go unnoticed last year. He was named a fourth team All-American by Phil Steele, an honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated and a freshman All-American by CBSSports.com, Phil Steele and The Sporting News.
And for good measure, Adams was named the 2012 Mountain West Freshman of the Year, becoming just the third freshman in school history to win that award for conference recognition.
Despite all of the accolades Adams earned in 2012, he realizes the path to success doesn't end in one year. As he prepares for 2013 and beyond, he knows more hard work is required to become one of the best.
"In order for you to be considered one of the top guys, they like to see those things on the list," said Adams. "As long as my coaches and teammates see the work I'm putting in, then that's good enough for me."
The Red Dawn workouts are only part of the extra hard work being put in by Adams. As spring ball approaches, he is working on preparing for the little things that are needed when practice really begins, such as mental preparation, route running and nutrition.
"I'm mentally preparing myself, making sure I'm out here running my routes and taking care of my body by eating right," said Adams. "I'm just continuing to work on everything on the field and off the field."
As Adams looks ahead to 2013 and beyond, he expects even better things to happen on the field. If that's the case, then Bulldogs fans will be seeing a lot of number 15 in the highlight reels, and opponents will be hanging their heads in disbelief.
"The best is yet to come," said Adams. "I'm putting in the extra work to be the best."
If the best is truly yet to come, then Davonte Adams has only scratched the surface of his amazing potential. It should be fun watching him get there.
Stay tuned to FSBulldogs.com for more updates on the 2013 Fresno State recruiting class. You can follow us on Twitter at @FresnoDogs.