Class of 2006: First Impressions of Josh Adams

One name that has been popping up quite often on the local high school football scene is that of Cary's Josh Adams. The 5'11", 187-pound running back is only a sophomore, but he is starting to put up some big time numbers on the field. In three games, he has rushed for 580 yards on 64 carries for a 8.5 yards-per-carry average and 182.3 yards per game.

Friday night against Athens Drive was nothing different for Adams, rushing for 185 yards on only eight carries, but he was also able to show off his skills on the defensive side of the ball, as well.  During a 12-minute span of Cary's 37-0 win over Athens Drive, this is what he did defensively:


  • Blocked a punt and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.
  • Intercepted a pass and returned it 22 yards to set up another score.
  • Sacked the Jaguars' quarterback, caused him to fumble and recovered it.


Because of his multiple skills, and the fact that Cary was missing a few starters, Coach Ron Pendergraft was reluctant to take him off of the field.  But after scoring on a 65-yard run with under five minutes to go in the third quarter, Adams played mostly on defense for the rest of the game.  After the game, Pendergraft had nothing but praise for his young back.


"This kid is something special," he said.  "I haven't had a talent like this since I was a coach back at E.E. Smith.  He's got something that you don't coach.  All you can do is over-coach him.  He's just got that God-given ability to make plays."


Watching him take off on runs of 55 and 65 yards, it became apparent that he has the skills to become a major prospect at the next level.  He would get hit at the line and break free.  He would juke opposing defensive backs and blow right by them with breakaway speed.  And because he anticipates things so well, you wouldn't believe he is only a sophomore in high school.  But he is, and the coaching staff has done a good job of keeping him grounded.


"I just stick to the game plan," said Adams.  "I just work harder and get better day-by-day.  I really appreciate my offensive line, because without them, I couldn't do any of my running.  I give them a lot of credit."


Cary does have an outstanding offensive line, and even with two of the starters out sick, Adams was still able to put up impressive numbers.  Lineman Steven Kooistra admitted that having Adams in the backfield has helped generate more exposure for the guys up front.


"We help him out; he helps us out," he said.  "I mean, if we can get him a couple hundred yards per game, what does that say about us?  It's a win-win situation all the way around."


Pendergraft has said that this year's offensive line may be the most intelligent one he's ever coached, but he knows that Adams is a special talent, and he's going to impress the scouts no matter who is blocking for him.


"He's also got a great attitude and his head is on the correct way," Pendergraft said.  "I feel like in the next few years, he's going to be able to make his own future.  It's going to be totally up to him, because the raw material is there and he's a really super kid."


Given what the young sophomore has shown already, you can be sure that, two years from now, he is going to be one of the most highly recruited athletes in the state.  For now, it should be fun just to watch him play.


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Lineman Steve Kooistra, who is finally healthy after a shoulder injury hampered him through the spring, was able to give an update on his recruiting status.


"Clemson's been keeping up with me a lot," he said.  "I think they've been recruiting me the hardest so far."


As far as his status with NC State, the 6'4", 270-lb. lineman said that the coaches have been hanging back a little bit. 


"When I went to camp, I heard they have only three or four O-line scholarships to give, and I think they've already given two away," he said.  "It'll be good if they still come through, but I think it's time to look outside of what I really wanted.  But hey, if it happens, it happens."

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