Notre Dame netted its second commitment of the weekend Sunday night, securing a pledge from prized Pennsylvania linebacker David Adams.
The 4-star prospect announced his intentions on Twitter:
God. Country. Notre Dame🍀 pic.twitter.com/LiLj5vm54F— DAVID ADAMS (@David_Adams1335) March 21, 2016
Adams, a 6'1", 215-pound playmaker from Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, possesses several scholarship offers. His recruitment featured increased SEC interest during recent weeks, as Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU and Florida each extended offers.
Penn State, Stanford, Louisville, Michigan and Pitt also took part in the pursuit, which concluded shortly after Adams spent time at a junior day event in South Bend, Indiana. His latest journey to Notre Dame apparently provided him with any answers he was looking for and was fueled by a budding rapport with the Fighting Irish staff.
"The highlights were all the time I spent with the coaches," Adams told Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports. "Had some really good time with [head coach Brian] Kelly, [defensive coordinator Brian] Vangorder and [linebackers coach Mike] Elston."
Elston reacted to the Sunday evening commitment on social media:
🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀....to be continued!!!#IRISHEL17E— Mike Elston (@CoachMikeElston) March 21, 2016
The number of shamrocks in that tweet would seem to indicate the amount of players now pledged to Notre Dame in a fast-developing 2017 recruiting cycle. Adams adds to a group rated No. 7 nationally in composite class rankings.
Considered the cycle's No. 4 overall inside linebacker, Adams' announcement followed a Saturday commitment from 4-star Texas quarterback Avery Davis. Like his newest classmate, Davis is considered a top-10 overall talent at his position (No. 7 dual-threat quarterback).
The same can be said for longtime Notre Dame commits Brock Wright (No. 1 tight end) and Cole Kmet (No. 3 tight end). Adams is the second top-five prospect from Pennsylvania who plans to play at Notre Dame, along with 4-star offensive tackle Joshua Lugg.
This group of Keystone State commits may expand Monday evening, when fellow Central Catholic standout Kurt Hinish declares his collegiate destination. The 3-star defensive tackle also attended junior day in South Bend on Saturday, perhaps pushing Notre Dame past Penn State and Pitt for his services.
The Nittany Lions and Panthers also aimed to land Adams, a crucial in-state recruit. Instead, ardent efforts by the Fighting Irish give Notre Dame another foundational defender to develop.
The program placed five coaches in the stands for a Central Catholic game last autumn when Notre Dame was in town for a matchup with Pitt, according to Tyler James of the South Bend Tribune.
Adams is a prototypical downhill linebacker who patrols the heart of his defensive unit with authority. He stays square at the point of contact and does an excellent job attacking opponents from proper angles, maintaining desired pad level along the way.
His role at Notre Dame will undoubtedly require significant physical maturation, but Adams is already put together quite well. He takes on blockers with burst, using strength and good hand work to shed them in pursuit of the ball.
Adams also excels in a blitzer role, diagnosing plays from the second level and swooping in with a head full of steam. He can get after the quarterback on occasion and routinely manages to force running backs outside by identifying and sealing intended interior rushing lanes.
He served as a defensive linchpin for talent-laden Central Catholic during the past two seasons, punctuating his junior campaign with a commanding performance in the Pennsylvania Class AAAA state title game. Adams recorded an early sack and came up with a victory-sealing interception in the final moments, according to Mike White of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Central Catholic's David Adams celebrates after sacking Parkland's QB during the Class 4A state championship game. pic.twitter.com/mtn8qgBXQr— PIAA D1 Football (@D1FootballFan) December 20, 2015
Adams fits in nicely with the impressive collection of young talent Notre Dame has amassed along its defensive front seven.
Linebacker Daelin Hayes and strong-side end Khalid Kareem enrolled early on campus as freshmen this semester. Fellow defensive standouts Julian Okwara (edge-rusher) and Jonathan Jones (linebacker) will enter the mix when summer arrives.
Georgia defensive end Robert Beal, arguably the premier prospect at his position in 2017, backed off a verbal pledge to the Fighting Irish in February. More commitments like the one from Adams will help take the sting off that loss and continue to help Notre Dame climb national class rankings.