For a second time Notre Dame has the first piece of its defensive puzzle.
On Sunday night the Irish landed a verbal commitment from four-star linebacker David Adams of Pittsburgh Central Catholic when the 6-foot-2, 225-pound athlete went Irish over offers from Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, LSU, Michigan State and Stanford among others.
And after losing four-star defensive Robert Beal last month, Adams becomes Notre Dame’s first defensive commitment in a haul that already included quarterback Avery Davis, offensive linemen Dillan Gibbons and Josh Lugg, plus tight ends Brock Wright and Cole Kmet.
Adams announced the commitment on Twitter.
“First off I would like to thank God for all the amazing opportunities he’s blessed me with,” Adams posted. “I would like to thank my family for supporting me through thick and thin. I would like to thank my coaches and teammates for making me the player I am today. I would like to thank all my friends for the endless support. And I would also like to thank every single coach that has recruited me. I’ve made so many great relationships and couldn’t thank every coach enough.
“But, after a lot of considering I would like to announce my commitment to the University of Notre Dame.”
Davis committed to Notre Dame on Saturday following the Irish Junior Day, which Adams also attended alongside teammate Kurt Hinish, a three-star defensive tackle set to make his commitment announcement on Monday night.
Davis, Adams and Hinish all arrived early at Junior Day, talking tours of campus on Friday
For Adams, the ultimate destination wasn’t a surprise, nor was its timing. The Irish had been on the linebacker since last summer when he visited just before the start of training camp. At the time, the Irish were also recruiting another Central Catholic star in four-star cornerback Damar Hamlin, who ultimately signed with Pittsburgh.
Still, going into this weekend Adams didn’t reveal the Irish as his leader.
“I’m going to Notre Dame … and then after that I don’t have anything scheduled yet as of now,” Adams told Irish Illustrated last week. “I currently don’t have any favorites. I’m open to all of my options at this point. I will make my decision when I’m 100-percent positive I want to go to a certain school.”
The Irish offered Adams during the season and Brian Kelly scouted him in person the night before Notre Dame blew out Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. Notre Dame maintained steady contact from there, ultimately beating out two in-state programs – Pittsburgh and Penn State – for his commitment.
Adams ranks No. 101 overall in the Scout 300 and No. 6 among all inside linebackers. Considering Notre Dame’s light numbers at the position, there’s a good chance he factors into the depth chart early in South Bend.
The Irish signed just one linebacker last year in Jonathan Jones after taking three a cycle earlier in Te’von Coney, Josh Barajas and Asmar Bilal.
Now Adams leads off Notre Dame’s next batch of linebackers, a group that should include at least two more before National Signing Day next February.