While in high school in Warrington, Pennsylvania, Josh Adams rushed for 2,085 yards and 25 touchdowns, as a Sophomore. By his Senior year in 2014 he was named the Pennsylvania offensive player of the year by USA today and accepted an offer from Brian Kelly to attend Notre Dame.
His impact was nearly immediate, because in the 2015 opener against Texas, ND’s top running back, Tarean Folston went down with a season ending injury. Adams was soon inserted into the game and on his first carry he scored on a 14 yard run. He finished the day with 49 yards and 2 touchdowns while sharing time with last week’s hero, CJ Prosise.
A few weeks later when Prosise was injured Adams got the starting role against Wake Forest and made the most of it. 141 yards of 17 carries and he set a school record with a 98-yard TD run, the longest run in all of the FBS that season. In the regular season finale at Stanford, he set another school record , this one the freshman single game mark, with 168 rushing yards.
Adams finished his freshman campaign with 835 yards and 6 TDs and averaged 7.1 yards per carry.
The 2016 season was a difficult one overall for the Irish but Adams was a bright spot. He exceeded 100 yards in four games and finished the year as the team leader with 933 yards and 5 scores. He also continued to demonstrate his explosiveness with two TD runs over 67 yards.
In 2017, his final season at ND, Adams put it all together as the Irish rebounded to a 10-3 record and Adams was a major reason why. By mid-season he was part of a Heisman Trophy campaign which featured his uniform number and the slogan “33 Trucking”. Thousands of baseball caps were made with the distinctive logo and after being distributed to the students at a game they became a national best seller. (I still have mine, pictured above.)
The numbers Adams put up in 2017 were staggering. Six 100-yard games, two 200-yard games. He became the only player in FBS history with a TD run of over 70 yards in 4 consecutive games. He totaled 1430 yards and 9 TDs on the season. Injuries slowed down his Heisman campaign the last few games of the season, but his accomplishments his last year at ND are undeniable.
Adams declared for the NFL after his Junior year but left ND with a slew of records. His career total of 3,198 yards on the ground ranks 5th on the all-time ND career rushing list, and he ranks 3rd in both all- time average yards per carry at 6.39 and 100-yard rushing games at 15. Adams scored 22 total touchdowns.
For his three years of explosive accomplishment running the football for the Irish, Josh Adams is an All-time Irish Hero.