Notebook: LB recruit David Adams has strong interest in Notre Dame
PITTSBURGH — With the hype surrounding Friday night’s high school game, David Adams wanted to block out the distraction.
The junior linebacker at Pittsburgh Central Catholic knew five Notre Dame coaches would be watching him from the sidelines, but his main focus was on the field.
“I just went out and played my game, and played what I practiced for in the week,” Adams said.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker did his part in shutting down the Upper St. Clair offense in a 49-0 victory in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs. Adams and the Central Catholic starters, which includes Irish cornerback target Damar Hamlin, kept the opposing team scoreless in the first half before the reserves took care of the rest.
Seeing college coaches on the sidelines of his games has become a regular occurrence for Adams, a four-star recruit. Head coach Brian Kelly, linebackers coach Mike Elston, tight ends coach Scott Booker, defensive backs coach Todd Lyght and defensive line coach Keith Gilmore represented the Irish on Friday night. Coaches from Penn State and Pittsburgh also have attended Central Catholic games this season.
"I saw all the coaches out here and it was an honor to have them at my game,” Adams said.
Elston extended Adams a scholarship offer in September and has been consistently pushing for the linebacker to join Notre Dame’s 2017 class. 247Sports slates Adams as the No. 3 inside linebacker in the 2017 class. Rivals ranks him fifth at the position.
“We talk a lot about the recruiting process and stuff,” Adams said of Elston. “He just wants me on board.”
Adams said Pittsburgh, Penn State and Stanford are among the schools challenging Notre Dame the most in his recruitment. The Irish might have a slight advantage. Adams grew up rooting for the Golden Domers and has called Notre Dame a dream school.
“I'm Irish myself. And just the name the Fighting Irish, it just came to me,” Adams said.
The Notre Dame coaching staff has been evaluating other players on Central Catholic’s team in addition to Adams and Hamlin. Junior lineman C.J. Thorpe is on that list. They’ve all had discussions about Notre Dame.
“We say it's an amazing place,” Adams said. “We all might end up there in the future maybe."
Notre Dame offered a trio of recruits Saturday night following its victory over Pittsburgh. All three prospects reported their new offers on Twitter.
2018 QB Phil Jurkovec, 6-5, 190; Gibsonia (Pa.) Pine-Richland: A day after Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Sanford watched him play, Jurkovec added an Irish offer. His productive sophomore season will bring plenty of attention his way.
Jurkovec has completed 158 of his 237 pass attempts for 2,226 yards and 17 touchdowns in 10 games. He’s also rushed for 1,088 yards and 10 touchdowns. 247Sports pegs him as a four-star recruit and the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 class.
Jurkovec also claims offers from Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin and Temple.
2017 CB Ambry Thomas, 5-11, 165; Detroit Martin Luther King: Notre Dame joined a list of 21 programs that have extended Thomas offers including Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and LSU. Thomas, a four-star recruit, visited South Bend for Notre Dame’s season opener with teammate Donnie Corley, an Irish wide receiver target.
247Sports slates Thomas as the No. 11 cornerback in the 2017 class. Rivals ranks him No. 17 at the position.
2017 S Jaylen Kelly-Powell, 6-0, 180; Detroit Cass Tech: Kelly-Powell and Thomas both visited Ohio State this weekend. They both also added Irish offers. Notre Dame joined the likes of Michigan, North Carolina, Stanford and Wisconsin on Kelly-Powell’s offer list.
247Sports pegs Kelly-Powell as a four-star recruit and the No. 15 safety in the 2017 class. Rivals rates him as a three-star prospect and the No. 19 safety.