Former Notre Dame LB David Adams enters transfer portal in hopes of ending medical disqualification

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

David Adams wants another chance at playing college football.

The former Notre Dame linebacker who was medically disqualified in 2018 entered the NCAA’s transfer portal Monday.

“I’m a lot healthier now and have made a lot of progress with my time off,” Adams said in a text message to the Tribune. “My body feels good and is firing again.”

Adams had always hoped he’d be able to play football again after he was forced to the sideline following a series of injures. When Adams announced his medical exemption in June of 2018, he listed the following injuries he had suffered late in his high school career at Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic and early in his Notre Dame career: concussions, a torn labrum in his left shoulder, a torn labrum, rotator cuff and bicep tendon in his right shoulder, a torn UCL in his right elbow, a knee injury that required surgery, chronic shin splints and chronic patellar tendinitis.

"It absolutely kills me to walk away from football, my true love," Adams wrote in 2018 as part of his medical disqualification announcement on Twitter. "However, these are circumstances that I cannot control. I've prided myself on my work ethic and have spent countless hours perfecting my craft to be the best player I could and can be. I need very specific and deliberate rehab and training to get my body back to where it once was and beyond.”

Adams remained on scholarship with the program, but it did not count against Notre Dame’s 85 scholarship limit. He is scheduled to graduate in May. It’s unclear how many seasons of eligibility Adams would retain at his new school.

A football player returning from a medical disqualification is rare. Former Notre Dame linebacker Michael Deeb was medically disqualified with a torn UCL in his left elbow in 2015 and went on to play baseball at Bethune-Cookman following a graduate transfer. Former Oregon running back Thomas Tyner finished his career at Oregon State in 2017 following a previous medical disqualification.

By entering the transfer portal, Adams can openly communicate with other programs, allow those schools to decide if he’s medically fit to play football again and sort through any NCAA compliance paperwork to reverse his medical disqualification.

Adams, a former three-star recruit, did not play in his one active season at Notre Dame as a freshman in 2017. Rivals ranked him as the No. 18 inside linebacker in the 2017 class. 247Sports slated him No. 23 at the position.

Former Notre Dame linebacker David Adams, who was medically disqualified in 2018, has entered the NCAA’s transfer portal.