Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Injuries Force LB David Adams To Step Away From Football

June 19, 2018

Injuries happen in the game of football and, unfortunately, Notre Dame linebacker David Adams knows all too well about that.

The former four-star prospect chose Notre Dame over 31 programs in March of 2016. Adams was named an Under Armour All-American and left Pennsylvania perennial power Pittsburgh Central Catholic as the all-time leading tackler, but battled injuries his senior season and his freshman season for the Irish last fall.

The 6-foot-1, 234-pounder has now made a decision step away from the game of football. 

“I’m taking a medical exemption,” Adams told Irish Sports Daily. “I had discussions with several doctors, family, and the coaches and we felt this was the best decision.”

Adams is no stranger to adversity and even embraced it from a young age, but at the same time, the Pittsburgh native knows he wants to have a healthy life outside of football and to one day be able to throw the ball around with his children.

The list of injuries is significant, and it goes to show how much Adams truly loved the game, but also how tough he was as a player to play through the injuries to be on the field with his teammates.

  • Concussions
  • Surgery on left shoulder from complete labral tear
  • Surgery on right shoulder from a torn labrum, rotator cuff, and bicep tendon
  • Right knee surgery on a cyst
  • Torn UCL in his elbow
  • Sprained MCL 
  • Chronic severe shin splints
  • Chronic severe patellar tendinitis in the knees

“I had my two shoulder surgeries in the past year,” stated Adams. “I was also dealing with shin splints and knee pain."

Rick Kimball/ISD
David Adams

The decision to commit to Notre Dame was taken very seriously by Adams and his family and the choice to take a medical exemption required the same kind of support.

“Honestly, I was leaning towards this route since we started talking about it at the end of spring ball,” said Adams. “I didn’t give them an official decision until a few days before the team reported back for the summer.

Adams has been playing football and working out since the fourth grade. College football was also the goal for Adams and his work ethic and commitment to his goal was second to none.

The Steel City linebacker put in countless hours to transform his body in the weight room along with eating right to make the chance to play college football come true.

“This is one of the hardest decisions that I have been faced with so far in my life. However, I have so many injuries that need time, specific care and training. I have a very good support system with my family and they have helped me a lot.

“Notre Dame has also been very supportive throughout this. Coach Kelly and Coach Lea have really been there for me overall.

“When you’re an athlete with a true passion for the game, you never want to stop playing. I am going to continue to train and see what happens with my health overall. I understand this could be it, however, you never know what the possibilities are if I got to 100 percent at some point again.”

When Adams decided to attend Notre Dame, he did factor in various situations, including the possibility of football being taken away from him.   

“The academics were part of my decision when I went through the recruiting process,” said Adams. “I pretty much had an open book to go anywhere. I wanted to go somewhere with a great football program and top of the line academics.

“I was realistic in my decision if I had injuries. I’m very, very thankful that I’m going to continue to be on full scholarship and remain part of the team and program while getting a great education."

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