RB Josh Adams joins Notre Dame recruiting class

TYLER JAMES
South Bend Tribune

The Irish Invasion landed its first commitment Monday.

Running back Josh Adams, who visited South Bend for Notre Dame’s premier summer recruiting weekend earlier in June, offered his verbal commitment to the Irish. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect gives Notre Dame 15 commitments in the 2015 class.

Adams is the first of what Notre Dame hopes will be a two-man class at the running back position. He choose the Irish over offers from Penn State, Pittsburgh and Stanford.

“This is a really important get for Notre Dame because they didn’t take a back in 2014,” said 247Sports director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong. “It’s a huge position of emphasis in this recruiting class. They now have one big-timer in the boat. They want to get one or possibly two more.”

Notre Dame continued to recruit Adams despite a junior season shortened by an ACL tear. In six games before his knee injury, Adams rushed for 738 yards and 10 touchdowns for Warrington (Pa.) Central Bucks South. He emerged as a college prospect during a sophomore season of 2,089 yards and 28 touchdowns.

The hope for a two-man class lessens the risk of taking a running back with a serious knee injury already in his career. With Adams on the path back to full health, 247Sports projects Adams as a four-star prospect and the No. 16 running back in the 2015 class. Rivals seems less optimistic about Adams, perhaps because of the injury, as the recruiting site rates him as a three-star prospect but doesn’t include him in the top 60 running backs nationally.

“Hopefully Josh comes back and has a great senior year,” Wiltfong said. “I know he’s close to feeling healthy. I don’t see why he won’t have a big senior year and come to South Bend healthy.”

CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming quantified Adams as a good get for Notre Dame.

“Josh is the best running back in the east, along with Andre Robinson,” Lemming said. “He’s not a speed-burner, but has good speed with good size. He’s a smart kid and a good student.”

Lemming places Adams in the second tier of running backs in the country. In the first tier reside a trio of running backs the Irish continue to chase – Jacques Patrick, Damien Harris and Soso Jamabo. Pairing one of those three with Adams would be a nice encore to the 2013 running back class of Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant.

“They definitely need some big-time backs in this class,” Wiltfong said, “and Josh Adams is a guy that we think is a big-time back.”

TJames1@SBTinfo.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Notre Dame running backs coach Tony Alford, left, talks to his unit during the opening day of spring football practice on Monday, Mar. 3, 2014, at Notre Dame. (SBT Photo/JAMES BROSHER)