Notre Dame Football

Adams Ready to Lead in 2017

March 9, 2017

4-8 didn’t set well for Notre Dame running back Josh Adams. The sophomore had felt the success of making the Fiesta Bowl, and having a big season as a freshman, so the 2016 season was a struggle for him.

Former Notre Dame receiver Chris Brown told Adams after the Fiesta Bowl it was his time to lead the team, and it was up to him to pass the torch. Adams battled through a hamstring injury last fall but enters this spring embracing those words from Brown in every aspect.  

“It’s something I am trying to get used to, it feels like I just got here, and I was that guy trying to find my spot,” Adams said of being a veteran. “It’s great because I know how that feels and I know how I can help some of the young guys coming in to make it easier on them. It’s a transition I am getting used to, but it’s a lot of fun.”

I have learned to have patience. - Josh Adams
Early enrollee CJ Holmes and freshman Tony Jones Jr. are going through their first spring practices, and it’s up to Adams to make sure they don’t get overwhelmed.

“I have learned to have patience,” explained Adams. “You're going to make a lot of mistakes coming in. Having the patience to know those things come with time - getting the plays, messing up, and knowing what to do to and when to do it.”

The 2016 season is officially behind Notre Dame with the start of spring practice on Wednesday, and it was the day everyone had been looking forward to.

“We’re determined and hungry,” Adams stated. “We have been waiting for this day for a long time. I know the first practice was just in helmets, but we’ve been looking forward to trying to get better and pushing forward to what we want to do as a team.

“We want to build our culture of excellence. We were eager all of the offseason. We were waiting for this day to come through all the workouts, and we’re glad it’s finally here.”

While the excitement of spring was in the air, Adams and his teammates also need to be sharp. Notre Dame is adding wrinkles to the offense under new offensive coordinator Chip Long, and the Irish know the work they put in now will benefit them in fall camp.  

“Wednesday was new,” Adams said. “We have a new scheme and a new offense. It was exciting for all of us to get out there and put what we’ve learned in the film room to the field. As a running back unit, we have a lot of fun learning and getting better.

“As an offense, we are trying to learn where the mistakes come from and getting better at those. It’s going to be fun over the next few days as we put in new stuff. It’s just another opportunity to grow.”

We did a great job of conditioning in the offseason and trying to get our tempo up. - Josh Adams
One adjustment to the offense is tempo. Notre Dame is expected to play fast under Long, and it’s something they have been working on since they arrived back on campus.  

“We did a great job of conditioning in the offseason and trying to get our tempo up,” explained Adams. “It’s something that’s new to us, so we have to get used to playing that fast. You have to practice fast, and we did a good job of that in the offseason to prepare us.”

Adams also believes the success of running tempo is more than just being conditioned. It’s going to take each offensive player being locked in and knowing their role.  

“It’s about communicating together as an offensive unit,” he said. “Everyone has to communicate with each other, and that will make our offense run smooth. Practicing that communication, and not worrying about doing wrong. It was about getting out there and playing football.”

Brandon Wimbush, a good friend of Adams, is now the starting quarterback, and Adams felt the confidence and presence of Notre Dame’s new QB1 on day one.  

“He did great,” Adams stated. “I wasn’t watching him that closely, but I felt he did well and was very comfortable with anything that he didn’t know. He looked around, and we were able to help each other. We’re all learning this together.

“He was doing a good job of leading and stepping into the role of being a leader of our offense.”  

It’s clear there is new life inside the walls of The Gug, and most importantly the Irish know there is plenty of work to be done still.

Adams may have run for 933 yards and five scores a year ago, but he wants to start 2017 fast as he had just two 100-yard games in the first ten games last fall.

“I have to do a better job of starting strong and finishing strong,” said Adams. “Start fast and finish it fast. I felt like I didn’t do that last year. There are a lot of things I need to improve on, which I am looking forward to improving in the spring, and going forward into the fall.

“I want to take it step by step. It’s just day one, but I am blessed to be there. I am trying to pick up the little things as I go, and try to improve my game each and every day.”
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