Lucky offer No. 13 sent Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) cornerback Jarius Adams home from Rutgers on a high note. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound defensive back worked out and impressed enough to earn his first Big Ten offer.
"They said they liked my film, but they just wanted to see me work out," Adams said. "They said I could come out of breaks real quickly. They liked my backpedal. That was mainly it. They wanted to see how it went with me and the DB coach and their defensive coordinator, coach Joe Rossi."
Adams spent time getting to know Rossi, and defensive backs Darrell Wilson. His visit ended with a 1-on-1 meeting in coach Kyle Flood's office and an offer.
"Coach Wilson has been in the NFL and has been in the Big Ten like when he was at Iowa," he said. "He has Big Ten experience, and he's a great coach. Coach Rossi also, he's a straightforward guy. He knows what he wants in his program and how he wants his defense to be. He wants smart, tough guys that have a feel for the game."
Rutgers showed Adams a tour of its football facility and campus during a long day in Piscataway. His meeting with Jenna Beverly of the academic support staff hit home as a highlight, he said.
"I liked the facilities, the academic advisor was a really straightforward lady," he said. "She was stressing academics because they're a top program in the APR. That was really big. Also, the coaches were good coaches, and they're known for putting DBs in the league. They actually have 30 players in the NFL. They also talked about what they want to see out of a player, and how I would be a good fit. The coaches know what they're doing."
Flood signed three Florida defensive backs in his 2014 recruiting class, a focus of his conversation with Adams.
"They said they have a lot of Florida recruits, and the DBs are big to them," Adams said. "A lot of DBs get there and can go straight to the NFL. They have that history on their resume to show that they can put you in the NFL in their system."
After finishing his school year, Adams embarked on an eight-school visit tour. In order, the tour includes Georgia Tech, Middle Tennessee State, Toledo, Bowling Green, Temple, Rutgers, N.C. State and Appalachian State.
"This is where I can get a feel for every school," Adams said. "I'm very fortunate to take these trips because not a lot of people get to do this. I can learn what all of these schools can offer academic wise and football wise. I'm learning about my playing time, do they have my major, what resources does this school have to get me a job, stuff like that."
Returning home this weekend, look for Adams to trim his list and for leaders to emerge.
"I'll have to go back over it when I get back home," he said. "I'll go over all of the schools to compare the good things about them with my mom. I'm going to go through all of my offers and see what the best school is."