Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 30, 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 53 of 55

54 OCT. 30, 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED J unior running back Josh Adams looked confused when he was told he made Sports Illustrated's second-team Midseason All-America squad earlier this month. "Is that this year?" Adams asked, not fully grasping what such recog- nition means before shrugging it off. "I'm not doing it for any of that stuff," Adams said. "I just love the guys on this team … we have the best offensive line. … Those guys are working their butts off, and I'm just out here running the ball. I'm doing it for my teammates, for the guys in that room, for guys who aren't playing … "We're playing an amazing game and are blessed to be here. Any- body's success goes to the team as a whole." Little wonder why this August there was a consensus among staff and players that Adams needs to be added to the captain's list despite the original decision taking place last December. Through only six games, Adams had torn off a remarkable six car- ries that covered at least 59 yards, with three of them resulting in touch- downs. Overall in 2017, Notre Dame already had eight runs that have traveled at least 59 yards. To put that into context, consider this: • In five seasons under Charlie Weis (2005-09), the Fighting Irish had one run from scrimmage that eclipsed 50 yards — and that was a 60-yard scramble by quarterback Brady Quinn during a 44-24 loss at USC in 2006. • In three years under Tyrone Will- ingham (2002-04), Notre Dame had two runs surpass 50 yards, a 61-yard scamper by Julius Jones during his single-game school-record 262-yard rushing performance at Pitt in 2003, and quarterback Carlyle Holiday scrambling for a 53-yard score in a 21-14 win at Air Force in 2002. • Based on our research and begin- ning with the Ara Parseghian regime (1964-74), the first time Notre Dame had a season with four runs of 50 yards or more from the line of scrim- mage was Dan Devine's debut sea- son in 1975. In one five-year stretch under Parseghian (1967-71), the Irish had only three runs surpass 50 yards. The standard of four in 1975 was eclipsed in 1992 with five under Lou Holtz, and then Brian Kelly's 2015 unit set a new standard with six — three of them by the freshman Ad- ams. In only two and a half seasons at Notre Dame, Adams has recorded 11 runs of at least 50 yards — and 10 of them have been a minimum of 60 yards (the longest a school-record 98- yard touchdown versus Wake Forest and current Irish defensive coordina- tor Mike Elko's defense). Since the start of the Parseghian era in 1964, our research shows that only one other player — Reggie Brooks (1989-92) — has reached that feat six times. Brooks had a 65-yard run as a junior that came up just short of a touchdown. Then as a senior in 1992, when he finished fifth in the Heis- man Trophy balloting, Brooks had five touchdown tallies that measured at least 55 yards. We found three others who had four runs of at least 50 yards during their Notre Dame careers: Nick Eddy (1964-66, three of them scores), Art Best (1972-74, two TDs), and Vagas Ferguson (1976-79, three TDs). Particularly notable about Adams is that as a high school junior at Cen- tral Bucks High in Warrington, Pa., he tore his ACL and saw his recruit- ing rating drop to three stars on Ri- vals and ESPN. He may have become less of a runner to some, but a stron- ger individual from it. "It helped me relate to people more, it's easier to talk to people about their issues and their prob- lems," Adams told me back in Febru- ary 2015. "It just makes you want to help more and do better even outside the sport of football. It made me real- ize things come and go quickly, so you have to make an impact the best way you can. "It tests you as a person, either in a positive or negative way, and I think it affected me in a positive way." Every day he is able to run is a form of thanksgiving. "God's given me another year of playing football, and I'm definitely trying to take advantage of it," Ad- ams said this month. "He's given me the strength and ability to work hard, continue to strive for excellence and continue to work on my game and never settle. He's given me the mind- set of doing it for other people and not just myself. "It's those little things that drive me to get better and improve every day." It has paid off in the short term — and will more so in the true "long run" the rest of his life. ✦ Josh Adams Paying Off In The Long Run Senior Editor Lou Somogyi has been at Blue & Gold Illustrated since July 1985. He can be reached at Nobody in recent Notre Dame history has matched Adams' penchant for ripping off long runs. In only two and a half seasons, he has recorded 11 runs of at least 50 yards — and 10 of them have been a minimum of 60 yards. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA THE FIFTH QUARTER LOU SOMOGYI

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Oct. 30, 2017