One of the best defensive ends in South Carolina high school football the last two years committed to Virginia Tech.
South Pointe’s Eli Adams had a slew of attractive options but picked the Hokies Saturday during his fifth total visit to the Blacksburg, Va. school.
“I got that feeling, this is home right here, and I committed,” he said Monday after a two-hour workout at South Pointe. “I knew I loved Virginia Tech and that just confirmed it.”
Adams trekked up to N.C. State last Friday with his parents and siblings, then went to a Virginia Tech prospect camp on Saturday. State had a good shot at winning Adams, in part because of former South Pointe Stallion Nick McCloud’s recruiting efforts. McCloud is a likely starter at defensive back for the Wolfpack this coming season and worked hard to convince his former teammate.
But Adams and his parents had developed a warmer, fuzzier comfort level in Blacksburg.
“I love Blacksburg. It’s a nice town, it’s by itself and the campus is real open,” Adams said. “Nice people there.”
The 6-foot, 230-pound defensive end tallied 30 sacks and 33 tackles-for-loss in the last two seasons. His production dipped slightly last fall because of ratcheted-up blocking attention from opposing teams, but he was still a first-team All-Area pick by The Herald and should be more effective this fall with more experience surrounding him on the Stallions’ defensive line.
Adams is a relentless freight train off the edge, especially adept at weakside pursuits that other players might have foregone, and he has exceptional strength and power. Adams has been a difficult prospect to pin down position-wise, with some schools offering him as a defensive end - the position he plays at South Pointe - and linebacker.
“They feel like I’m a dynamic player that can do both but when I get there I’m gonna transition to linebacker first,” he said.
Longtime Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster gave Adams and his family what he calls “The 30-year old Tour” last Saturday, a nod to Foster’s longevity in his position. Numerous future NFL players have made the same trip around Blacksburg with Foster, a fact that dawned on Adams.
“I’ll be glad to play under (Foster),” he said. “He cares about me as a person, but I know he’s gonna coach me hard.”
Adams began to grin as he talked about the excitement that he and his close friends and South Pointe football teammates are feeling these days.
Adams’ fellow juniors/rising seniors have yet to experience a high school football season without a state title - the Stallions have won three straight - and gradually, one-by-one, they’re committing to play high-level college football. Some that haven’t committed are pulling in scholarship offers daily as part of South Pointe’s most-recruited class of student-athletes.
“We all played together since we were 9 years old,” said Adams. “We told each other growing up, ‘we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do this one day,’ and it’s crazy how, now, it panned out the way we said it. It’s one of the coolest things ever.”
▪ Rising senior South Pointe kicker B.T. Potter committed to Clemson last week, joining teammate Derion Kendrick as future Tigers.
▪ Former York Cougar Josh McCoy signed with N.C. Central after spending two years in the junior college ranks. He’ll play tight end.
▪ Rock Hill receiver Antonio Barber, a rising sophomore, was offered by N.C. Central over the weekend and is getting recruiting interest from a number of HBCUs. A good summer on the college camp circuit could see bigger schools extending scholarships to the Bearcat.
▪ Nation Ford rising junior cornerback Malik Barber was offered by Appalachian State recently, according to Falcons assistant coach Jamale Foster.