Adkins was delighted to see Ward-Prowse commit his future to the club until 2017.
The Southampton manager said: "As one of the youngsters coming through the system, James has done ever so well since he stepped up to the first team during pre-season.
"He started the first game of the season and played there on merit [because] he works hard in training.
"He's a great lad in respect of being a role model for the younger players, and he works very hard at his game every single day.
"We're delighted that we've got a hungry and ambitious young man who has now committed his longer-term future to the football club."