Jamal Adams (Carrollton, Texas. Hebron) released his top six schools on Wednesday, with SEC schools taking up half of his list as Ole Miss, Florida and Texas A&M made the cut. National powers Texas, Notre Dame and Ohio State round out the six pack of suitors for the 4-star safety.
Let’s handicap this race for the 6-0, 200-pound 2014 U.S. Army All-American selection and project his best fits and where he will call home for the next four years. I’ll start with the teams I believe have the smallest percentage of landing Adams and work toward the favorites.
I immediately put Notre Dame and Ohio State at the bottom because neither has hosted Adams yet for a visit. Adams said via Twitter he hasn’t made any trips official to the two schools but will get there this summer. Nonetheless, they both have a lot of ground to make up on the other four schools.
Texas A&M checks in at No. 4 and they are sliding. The Aggies have a commitment from 4-star safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner (Mesquite, Texas. West Mesquite) and because Adams is looking for early playing time, he could be turned off by one of his in-state options. He has visited College Station for the team’s spring game in April and during the preparations for the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
Ole Miss checks in at No. 3, where he would be a luxury for the Rebels after signing No. 2 safety Tony Conner in the 2013 class and have a commitment from C.J. Hampton (Meridian, Miss. Meridian). They certainly would take him in Oxford, but I think he may be turned off by the two aforementioned safeties on board. He is scheduled to visit Ole Miss Jul. 19 but may feel a greater need elsewhere.
The top two teams, Florida and Texas, aren’t separated by much at the moment, and the Gators are making a surge as the Longhorns’ one-time gigantic lead slowly diminishes. Texas was one of the first to offer Adams and he has been on campus six times. Texas can offer him immediate playing time while playing in-state, and he is close friends with current Longhorn cornerback Quandre Diggs. Texas has a great track record of sending defensive backs to the NFL, but so do the Gators.
Adams has said he feels like he’s part of the family at Texas. However, I have Florida, who will host the dynamic safety on July 14, as the slightest favorite to sign him.
Florida can offer him the same early playing time that Texas can, but the biggest factor could be his primary recruiter, Joker Phillips, who was a college teammate of Adams’ father at Kentucky. His visit next month will be the clincher for Adams and he will feel at home in Gainesville, where former Texas assistant Will Muschamp will treat him like he’s already a part of the Gator family.
This is a close race between Florida and Texas, and you can’t discount the local team especially when you’re discussing prideful Texas athletes, but I’m predicting Adams will be playing in the SEC in 2014 for Florida.