RECRUITING: UT in Chase for N.C. Back

North Carolina was very good to the Vols last recruiting season yielding four highly regarded prospects in Jonathan Crompton, Josh Briscoe Antonio Wordlow, Montario Hardesty.

Tennessee is back in the Tar Heel State this year and would most like to land Josh Adams, a 5-11, 175-pound running back of Cary, N.C. As a junior he rushed for 2884 yards and 26 touchdowns, averaging over nine yards per carry and 245 yards per game. He led Cary to a 10-2 record and the second round of the Class-4A state playoffs.

Adams size belies his potential as a collegiate running back. He has solid 4.5 speed exceptional balance, vision and the ability to change directions.

"Josh is a fantastic running back at the high school level," said Miller Safrit of Scout.com. "He has great acceleration, has good hips and tremendous balance. Based on his speed on his first step, he could be a fantastic cornerback, but with his ability handling the ball could become a great slot receiver."

While he is comfortable at running back, Adams isn't opposed to playing another position at the next level.

"I honestly don't know where I'll play," Adams told James Henderson of InsideCarolina. "I haven't played defense much since my freshman year, and since I've played running back the most I feel like I'll be going in as a running back. But, if it happens where I end up playing defense, there's nothing wrong with hitting somebody."

In addition to his size and production, Adams' attitude and diversity will remind Tennessee fans of former Vol Mark Jones, who played both offense and defense during his last two seasons on the Hill.

If there's a concern about Adams it is probably his recent history of injury. In 2003, he was leading the state in rushing with 1,486 yards and nine touchdowns before a knee injury (cartilage damage) ended his sophomore campaign. Last spring he tore ligaments in his ankle in a jumping event for Cary's track team. He has recently been cleared to return to workouts and is expected to be 100 percent this fall.

Certainly, the injury didn't scare off any suitors as his list of schools offering scholarships has steadily grown over the summer. Among the high-profile programs to offer are LSU, Georgia and Ohio State.

His injury and rehab has set Adams' recruiting process back, as he didn't get to take the visits he had planned to this summer. However he did make it to junior days at Virginia, North Carolina State and Clemson. He has also made unofficial visits to in-state schools North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke. All of the schools he has visited are on his list of favorites as is Tennessee and Maryland.

"I'm open and just taking in everything," he told Scout.com's Jeff Talty. "I'm going to look at playing time, how long the coaching staff will be there, and the social life. I also want to look at the majors because I'm leaning towards mechanical engineering or something in the engineering field."

Of the unofficial visits he has taken Adams was most impressed by what he saw at Clemson.

"I enjoyed Clemson's (junior day) the most because they have a huge stadium, fits about 81,000, and they have a nice weight room."

In light of that statement, Adams might want to check out Tennessee before making up his mind.


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