Up Close: Josh Adams

CHESHIRE, Conn. --- Seven months after announcing his intentions to sign with North Carolina, Josh Adams says he is "very happy" not only with his decision, but also that he committed so early.

"Now I can settle down and I can talk to the coaches from North Carolina and get a feel for the offense," said Adams, a 6-4, 200-pound wideout. "When I went down to the camp [this year], I already knew most of the plays and the routes so I feel comfortable [about] when I get down there."

Adams says that schools continue to recruitment him, including California, Connecticut, and UCLA.

"I might come to some games to check it out and watch some football, but nothing else," Adams said. "I'll just go to the games, no official visits. I'm going to get the tickets regardless might as well use them. I'm just taking one [official] and that's to UNC."

With three wide receivers graduating after this season – including two starters – Adams, who will enroll at UNC for the spring semester, will have the opportunity to earn early playing time during his freshman season.

"My game plan is to basically learn the offense," Adams said. "I'm looking at the receivers [that have been in the system] so I can do better and work hard in the weight room and see if I can get a position starting. If not, [I want to] just get some reps on the field and make some plays."

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After making noise as a freshman, Adams exploded onto the recruiting radar with a sophomore season that earned him first team All-State selection.

"I started getting letters and invitations to camps," Adams said. "It was crazy."

During his freshman season, Adams started seven games for Cambridge (Mass.) Rindge & Latin mostly on defense. He recorded nine interceptions, while also catching 18 passes for 350 yards and two touchdowns on offense.

Adams started both ways as a sophomore. On offense he made 35 catches for 725 yards and six scores, and rushed and passed for touchdowns. He recorded 75 tackles and five interceptions on defense.

The summer following his sophomore campaign, Adams attended several camps to further increase his recruiting stock.

"I probably went to 9-10 camps," Adams said. "I was going against kids who already committed to the schools and I was burning them. Everyone started looking at me like ‘Wow, this kid is good. Last year, maybe it was luck when he was a freshman, but now it's consistent.'"

UNC's three-day team camp held that July was among the camps Adams attended. He participated in the camp with his CRLS teammates under the guidance of then head coach Paul Gonnella, who is now UNC's Director of Player Personnel.

"[The UNC coaches] basically stepped in and said ‘Alright we want you bad and we're not going to stop at anything to get you,'" Adams said. "I was like ‘Ok, they want me strong.'"

On the morning of September 1 of last year, an official scholarship offer letter from Boston College came through CRLS's fax machine – Adams' first written offer. His recruitment continued to escalate.

"[Offers] just started rolling in and rolling in," Adams said. "Some schools said ‘If you come to the school, we'll give you an offer.' Cal came down and said ‘If you come down to the campus, we'll give you an offer.' A lot of schools said that."

Scholarship letters eventually arrived from Connecticut, Maryland, UNC, Rutgers, and Stanford.

Reflecting on his lengthy summer camp tour, Adams was sure that UNC was the place for him. However, he still had to convince his parents.

"My family didn't know that much about UNC and they liked BC a lot because it's close to home and it's a good school," Adams said. "… I said ‘You guys have to come and see the campus and meet the coaching staff.'"

Adams and his family unofficially visited UNC the weekend the Tar Heels defeated Miami, 33-27.

"My father loved it immediately," Adams said. "My mother was iffy at first, but then she loved it."

With UNC firmly entrenched as his leader and his parents on board, Adams focused on his junior season. He ended the campaign with 64 catches for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. He also rushed for roughly 500 yards and five more scores.

January was a significant month on two fronts for Adams. First, he transferred to Cheshire (Conn.) Academy. Second, he accepted an invitation to the U.S. Army All-American Junior Combine, leaving San Antonio with the combine's Offensive MVP award and an invitation to play in the coveted U.S. Army All-American Bowl the following year.

On National Signing Day with some of the 2008 class still being finalized, Adams appeared on national television and surprised the recruiting world by announcing his verbal commitment to UNC.

"Basically, I wanted to be the first person [to commit]," Adams said. "I wanted to let other top players in the country know that there's a top player that wants to go to UNC and wants to commit now – he doesn't want to wait around and play with schools' heads."

(Check back soon for a report from the Cheshire Academy practice field.)

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