ND A to Z: Josh Adams

Adams cracked the 100-yard mark four times as a freshman. He set a Notre Dame record and tied an NCAA freshman record with his 98-yard run vs. Wake Forest.

Adams continues to develop at a rapid pace with his size and breakaway speed allowing him to usurp carries from Tarean Folston. Adams also learns how to maximize his size between the tackles. If all that happens – which wouldn’t be a stretch considering his standout performances in ’15 – he’ll be mentioned as one of the top backs in the country heading into his junior season in ’17.

Although it would be beneficial to Notre Dame in general if Folston returned to form and gave the Irish an alternative in short-yardage and red-zone situations, Adams could give up some ground to the veteran Folston. Additionally, with Dexter Williams’ improved between-the-tackles play this spring, Adams could be pigeonholed as Notre Dame’s outside-the-tackles runner.

In 1975, freshman running back Jerome Heavens cracked the 100-yard mark three times over the final seven regular-season games and finished with 756 yards, a 5.9-yard average per carry and five rushing touchdowns.

Forty years later, Adams cracked the 100-yard mark four times over the final nine regular-season games and finished with 835 yards, a 7.1-yard average per carry and six rushing touchdowns.

Adams was Scout’s No. 33-rated running back and 199th overall prospect out of Warrington, Pa., and that was coming off a torn ACL. Adams, a four-star prospect by Scout and a three-star elsewhere, averaged 7.13 yards per carry, which was exceeded by just 11 running backs in the country in ’15.

Adam’s finest single moment came against Wake Forest when his 98-yard touchdown run set a Notre Dame record and tied an NCAA freshman record. But his best overall performance came in the final regular-season game when he rushed for 168 yards on 18 carries (9.3-yard average), including a 62-yard third-quarter touchdown run. Adams set career highs in rushing yards (168), receiving yards (28) and all-purpose yards (196).

“(Adams) played as a freshman, so it’s kind of self-explanatory. By the time we got two or three practices into Culver (training camp), we knew we had something, and I mean that from a maturity standpoint. He didn’t surprise me because I get to work with him several times throughout a given day. That dude is a stud.”
-- Notre Dame RB coach Autry Denson

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