Adams discusses commitment to Maryland
By now, Maryland running back commitment D.J. Adams is a seasoned pro at dealing with the media.
With more than 30 scholarship offers, Adams regularly granted interviews to team sites from the two major recruiting services. He also did the occasional check-in with local media.
While the Norcross, Ga., running back always had an interest in journalism, the recruiting process helped Adams decide on the field as a potential career path -- something that helped Maryland land the three-star prospect.
“[Journalism is] just what always stood out to me, especially with the recruiting process and doing interviews,” Adams said. “[Maryland’s journalism and communications program] was another thing that helped determine my decision. I want to be in journalism or a communication type of major, and to be in the ... Baltimore-D.C. area, that is a great opportunity. That's what I want to do.”
Adams got another first-hand look at his potential future profession at a news conference Monday at Norcross High School. The 5-foot-10, 215-pounder pulled on a Maryland hat to announce his decision, leaving hats from Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame on the table. After his choice was made, Adams granted several interviews. Later that day, one news outlet dubbed him a ‘soft commitment,’ meaning he would take official visits to other schools. Adams said that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“It's not at all a soft commit,” Adams said. “It’s a solid verbal. I'm done with the recruiting process. Maryland is it. [There will be] no other visits. The University of Maryland -- it’s official. That's it. It's a solid verbal. I held a press conference. That's it. There’s no soft verbal.”
Beyond UM’s academic offerings, Adams said he picked the Terps for his relationship with the coaching staff, particularly offensive line coach Tom Brattan.
“Coach Brattan is the best recruiting coach I talked to during the whole process,” Adams said. “Me and him developed a real good relationship. He’s just a great guy as well as coach [John] Donovan, the running backs coach. I got a chance to get acquainted with those guys and call them frequently. The coaching staff, everybody was great. And it's not like they're going to work every morning. It's more like a brotherhood, and that's what I was looking for. That's definitely a plus.”
Another plus in Adams’ opinion was the opportunity for early playing time. Adams stressed that no promises were made. But the coaches did implore him to stay prepared and be ready to make an early contribution.
“They expect me to come and be ready to play,” Adams said. “They expect me to be ready. Early playing time has been discussed. That we've talked about, but they’re just ready for me to get my senior year taken care of and be ready to play.”
Adams admitted that, days after making his announcement, there’s still excitement in the air. While many high school football followers in the Atlanta area were initially surprised at his choice, the community has started to come around.
“The area's still buzzing,” Adams said. “People weren’t expecting Maryland, with an LSU and Clemson and Notre Dame on the table. They weren’t expecting Maryland, but now they're coming up to me and saying, ‘Maryland did OK last year, they’re expected to do well this year.’ Everybody’s starting to understand, and I'm starting to explain why I picked Maryland. Hopefully two years from now they’ll see why I picked Maryland, for the academic and athletic opportunities.”