Adams Comfortable In College Park

Redshirt freshman D.J. Adams is not worried about playing time, he just wants to win.

You'd be hard pressed to find a more talented third-stringer in the ACC than D.J. Adams, who is currently slotted behind Da'Rel Scott and Davin Meggett on Maryland's depth chart at tailback.

Adams, a redshirt freshman, hasn't received a lot of playing time this year, but continues to make the most of his opportunities while making it hard on the coaches to keep him off the field. He's not worried about the lack of playing time, however, and constantly talks about doing whatever it takes to win, no matter how much he sees the field. “We've got guys who can play,” he said. “The two guys that are in front of me are great guys and we're all different, so we all complement each other, and we all do it a little different. It's a good mix up.

“I'm not at all worried about playing time. First and foremost, if we keep winning, none of that matters. We're all different types of backs, so different situations will present themselves where some are needed and some are not, it's just a matter of time for all of those situations to be presented throughout the season, and we'll all be ready.”

Adams, who hails from Norcross, Ga., is more of a downhill, smashmouth-style runner who specializes in short-yardage situations and running north-to-south. “I kind of mix the power and speed,” he said. “And I've got some moves here and there. Getting the extra yard is my motto.”

Excluding the 2009 spring game, where he did not get a touch, Adams has played in two games at Byrd Stadium, and excelled in both. In the 2010 Red-White game, he led all players with 14 carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns, leading the White team to a victory. On September 11 against Morgan State, Adams ran 11 times for 70 yards and two touchdowns, leading both teams in all of those categories once again. “I don't really know what it is [about Byrd],” he laughed. “I guess the two times I did play at Byrd, my family was here from Georgia. It's good to be able to come in and get your feet wet, and just kind of get used to the speed and being in actual gameplay.”

Adams' mom, dad, sister, and grandparents all came up to watch him play at the beginning of the year, originally arriving for the Navy game and staying a week through the Morgan State game.

Head coach Ralph Friedgen has talked about one area that Adams needs to work on in order to become an every down back – pass protection, always a tough area for young backs. Scott and Meggett are veteran backs who have more experience in pass blocking situations, and that's the area with the biggest separation between the starters and Adams. “I think, right now, I need to work on perfecting my pass blocking and becoming more of an every down back,” Adams said. “I think that'll be the final thing in kind of perfecting my game.

“I've watched a lot more film and focused on the pass protections more than running the ball. When it comes down to it, running the ball is the same as when you started. With pass protection, it's different blitzes and different defenses week in and week out, so it's just watching film and being able to read safeties and read coverages and just perfecting that because once you perfect that everything else is easy.”

Adams was recruited by SEC schools, like Auburn, and offered by some big time programs, including Notre Dame, coming out of Norcross High School. However, Maryland recruited him hard from the beginning, and won his commitment in July of 2008. “Maryland just was the place I wanted to be,” he said. “I really wasn't attracted to the SEC. Maryland was there from the start, and me and my family were just very comfortable, so it ended up being the best place for me.”

Adams is one of four players on Maryland's roster from the state of Georgia, joining redshirt freshman Nick Klemm (from Marietta) and true freshmen Devin Burns (from Columbus) and Max Garcia (who was a high school teammate of Adams' at Norcross). “Maybe we're creating a little pipeline from Georgia,” he laughed. “We'll see how that works.”

So far, it's working out just fine.

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