Notre Dame junior phenom Josh Adams announced early Friday morning that he would be entering the 2018 NFL Draft and forgoing his senior season with the Fighting Irish. The move is far from a shock after the numbers Adams tallied in 2017 combined with the departure of many of the starting lineman at the university.
In an Instagram post, Adams wrote, “With a lot of thought, prayer and discussion with my family, I’ve decided to forgo my senior year and enter the 2018 NFL Draft. I’d like to thank the university, my family, teammates, coaches, support staff and everyone who has been with me throughout my journey at Notre Dame. I’m beyond blessed to have been surrounded by such a loving community. I chose Notre Dame because it was a place that allowed me to pursue my full potential, and it was a decision that would affect the rest of my life.
“I’ll always have Notre Dame in my heart. With my decision, I hope that people will know and kids will see how it’s okay to chase your dreams, because with God ‘all things are possible.’ Also, it is never too late to finish what you start, and that is why I will always be connected to this great university. In addition, I’ll definitely be back to earn and receive my degree at Notre Dame.”
“Again, I’d like to thank the incredible fans for their energy and support and I’d also like to thank my teammates for the unbelievable journey. The bonds and friendships that were built are unforgettable and will last forever.”
During his college career, Adams rushed 481 times and gained 3,198 yards, while reaching the end zone 20 times. He also caught 41 balls for an additional 336 yards and two touchdowns. Adams will leave as Notre Dame’s fifth all-time leading rusher.
"He's a guy I would like to be in the future."
Seven games with over 💯 yards rushing, 9️⃣ touchdowns and an 85-yard touchdown against USC will earn Josh Adams the Echo for Offensive Player of the Year.#GoIrish ☘ #NDEchoes17 pic.twitter.com/QIPIaNDR0J
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) December 9, 2017
While Adams, who was at one point in the conversation for the Heisman Trophy, has established himself in the world of college football, where will he fit in the NFL?
Adams was the definition of a workhorse this season, averaging 146.1 yards on 9.0 yards per carry through Notre Dame’s first eight games. Unfortunately, he dipped to average 54.5 yards on 3.7 yards per carry over the final four regular-season games after dealing with injuries. Even Adams’s backups had astronomical averages. Running back Dexter Williams finished the season with 360 rushing yards on 9.2 yards per carry and Tony Jones Jr. had 232 yards on 5.3 yards per carry.
If he is to succeed at the professional level, it will be imperative that whatever team drafts the Notre Dame product has a capable offensive line. Several good fits for Adams could be the Philadelphia Eagles where he would be paired with Jay Ajayi or Washington where he’d likely have a shot at starting. The Eagles have had a stellar year and would have the luxury of selecting Adams in a later round of the draft. The Redskins are a mess almost across the board but one area that is strong in D.C. is the offensive line. With the lack of a true game changer currently on the roster, Adams could be a steal for the Redskins.
Last week during a press conference before the Citrus Bowl, offensive coordinator Chip Long was asked to compare Adams to someone currently in the NFL.
Good luck to Josh Adams. Time to go get paid for stiff-arming people to death. pic.twitter.com/Q0hOk3KhTK
— Chris W. (@rakesofmallow) January 5, 2018
“You know, I think Josh is a unique back,” said Long. “Like I told a lot of people, he’s one of the hardest working superstars I’ve ever been around. You know, he gets everything he deserves by the way he prepares, by the way he practices, you know, and he’s just a product of what he does each and every day. Very good leader, very intelligent. It’s just been a great pleasure just to be around him each and every day and see him have the success has been a real treat for us and for the offensive line. I’m not great at comparing who he might be because I think he’s one of a kind and it’s been a lot of fun watching him grow.”
Wherever Adams ends up this fall, he will certainly be missed by the Notre Dame coaches, players and fans.