High School Sports

How did this all-district left tackle turn into one of the best receivers in the state?

Nnamdi Adim-Madumere arrived to Fort Worth Southwest as a 6-foot-3 freshman and with one year of football under his belt.

The Raiders coach at the time, Lanny Trammell, put him at left tackle and Adim-Madumere quickly became one of the top linemen during the 2015 season.

He was voted first-team all-district, but Adim-Madumere had a different calling.

“I had the opportunity to play receiver, but didn’t take it because I wanted to make sure I started on varsity,” the 3-star prospect said. “The year went by and I didn’t think it was going to benefit the team the most. I was good at tackle, but I wanted to help the team more.”

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Southwest players Octavio Martinez (14), Nnamdi Adim-Madumere and Daquinn Sullivan (3) celebrate a touchdown in Week 7 action against YMLA. Paul Moseley pmoseley@star-telegram.com

Adim-Madumere can remember going to the championship game during his eighth grade. They lost by two points on the final play.

“I felt like I missed a block and at that moment it was like I was supposed to do something else,” he said. “After freshman year, I worked hard the whole summer. It was a tough process, but I got through it. Who knows where I’d be if I didn’t make the switch.”

He made the move to receiver as a sophomore, but with star players like Roderick Ford, Greg Mims, Mike Ray and Jason Bailey-Day, Adim-Madumere only made eight catches for 148 yards in 2016.

That was Rob Goebel’s first year with the Raiders.

“We saw him running around in the spring, doing 7-on-7 drills and saw what he could do so we moved him to receiver,” Goebel said.

It benefited both Adim-Madumere and Southwest in 2017.

He recorded 26 catches for 837 yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged 32 yards per catch and was again voted first-team all-district.

“Nnamdi put in the work and the extra time to learn the position and to catch the ball,” Goebel said. “That says a lot about his work ethic and dedication to make that transition. It’s what has led him to where he’s at today. It got a lot of people’s attention.”

Adim-Madumere went from no offers to 18 in five months. He’s ranked as the No. 54 WR in the nation and No. 51 overall player in the state, per 247Sports.

His first offer came from North Texas in January. His first Power Five offer came from Texas A&M one month later.

It was only June and even after nine offers from Power Five schools, his heart said Minnesota.

“It was just different,” Adim-Madumere said. “It was about building a relationship with the player. They told me they wanted to make me a better player and better man, and I really liked that.”

Goebel and his family have gone with Adim-Madumere on each one of his visits too.

“He’s more than just a coach. He’s invested in his players and wanted to help me get through this journey,” Adim-Madumere said. “Tells me a lot about him and he’s a great man.”

That bond has Southwest thinking district title and more.

The Raiders are coming off a second-straight playoff appearance and 7-4 record – their most wins since 2012. They also went 6-1 in District 7-5A.

Southwest was reclassified into 4-5A Division II with Justin Northwest, Wyatt, Eastern Hills, Carter-Riverside, Polytechnic and North Side.

The Raiders are going to play their game and let the wins come on their own.

“All the teams are good, but we’ve been working hard all summer long,” Adim-Madumere said. “The coaches have supported and pushed us. If we just play hard and have fun then we’ll do great things.”

“We don’t worry about wins and losses,” Goebel added. “If we believe in the process and buy into the teamwork then those things will come.”

Goebel and company are also trying to turn around the stigma of football in Fort Worth.

“We talk about it almost on a daily basis,” he said. “When I arrived, we had to change the culture here. There is a stigma that Fort Worth schools can’t win outside Loop 820, but we made a conscience decision to be the one that can. There’s a tremendous amount of talent at Southwest. We still have questions to answer and a lot of growing to do, but if we build it from the ground up and worry about the root and not the fruit then we’ll be fine and prove a lot of people wrong.”

“It motivates me and my teammates,” Adim-Madumere added. “We’re doing some great things here and we want to prove the haters wrong and make people believe in Southwest.”

The Raiders will open the season at The Star on Aug. 31 against Frisco Lebanon Trail. They also play Gainesville, Dallas Adams and Weatherford before district play starts on Sept. 28 against Northwest.

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