Michigan State running back commit Abdul Adams was forced to play his final season of high school ball at Hillside High School in North Carolina after being denied a transfer request in Washington D.C., where he had played his first three seasons and became a national recruit.
With that behind him, he has, through four games, done what he does best: run the football.
Adams is averaging over seven yards a carry and has totaled 556 yards and eight touchdowns to date. All that while splitting carries with Jamal Elliott, a highly-recruited sophomore. Scout analyst Michael Clark attended a recent Hillside game and left convinced he had just seen a Spartan prototype.
"He fits the mold. He has definitely bulked up," Clark said. "He wasn't in my region last year, but he was bigger than I expected. He's put-together, taller, and thick all the way through. I saw LJ Scott at Semper Fidelis last year and he kind of reminds me of him, but not quite as big or thick as LJ. Still, when it's all said and done, Abdul can be 215-220 and keep his speed. I don't see any reason why not."
That speed allowed Adams to break three long runs that night.
"He's more of a downhill guy but he can bounce onto the perimeter and he's a one cut and go guy," Clark said. "He has really good speed, impressive straight-line speed for a kid his size."
Alabama offered following his verbal commitment to Michigan State and Adams told Clark recently that Oklahoma and Indiana are still recruiting him. That said, the only visit he has scheduled and plans to take is an official visit to East Lansing, and he describes his status with the Spartans as "solid."
The Spartans' current top-five standing and early-season success highlight many of the reasons he chose them to begin with.
"Definitely the coaching staff and school environment," he said. "I love that place. They're really dedicated to their job. Michigan State has been ranked in the top five for the past three, four, five years. I'm very excited to play for Coach Dantonio. He's so humble."
Humility is something Adams has, as well, and has allowed him to handle the transfer situation and splitting carries after becoming accustomed to being the back through three seasons in D.C. That could help him step in and see early time at Michigan State despite having younger backs like Madre London and Scott on the roster.
"All things considered, the game I saw, he probably should have had more carries," Clark said. "But it was only his second game at the school and they have an established back who is also really talented, but Abdul is a team guy. I was impressed by that."
The adjustment period to a new school and new state was fast and Adams has now shown North Carolina what the nation's capital already knew.
"He's playing against really good competition at a good program that plays one of the tougher schedules in North Carolina," Clark says, "and he's putting up some really big numbers. He has tons of ability and is probably a kid that deserves a bump in the rankings."
Spartan commits earn All-American invitations
Three members of Michigan State's 2016 class accepted invitations to postseason All-American games. Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne quarterback Messiah DeWeaver is headed to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, which will take place in Carson, California, on Jan. 3.
Detroit Cass Tech safety Demetric Vance and Battle Creek Central linebacker Brandon Randle will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which will be Jan. 9 in San Antonio, Texas.
Randle, who is having a big season for his Bearcats squad, was upgraded to a four-star prospect on Scout this week.
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.