Tailback D.J. Adams received his release from Maryland and intends to transfer.
It was hardly a surprising decision for the redshirt sophomore, whose absence from the Terrapins’ tailback rotation for much of the season was one of the most puzzling facets of the team’s decline from 9-4 to 2-10 under first-year coach Randy Edsall.
Adams said in an e-mail he received his release Monday, two days after the Terps’ season ended with a 56-41 loss to N.C. State.
“I am sincerely thankful for both the academic and athletic opportunities afforded to me as a University of Maryland football player,” Adams said. “The 2011 Maryland football season proved to be extremely challenging and disappointing for me and my fellow teammates. After prayerful consideration, I believe it is best for me to continue my education and collegiate football career elsewhere.”
Adams had 40 carries for 174 yards and four touchdowns this season. He scored 15 touchdowns, tied for 17th in school history with Chet Hanulak, on only 107 carries over the last two seasons.
But it was clear early in the season he wouldn’t factor heavily into Edsall’s backfield rotation. Adams was suspended for the opener for a violation of team rules. He returned and had 12 carries for 64 yards and two touchdowns in the Terps’ Sept. 17 loss to West Virginia, but was eventually phased out.
Over a five-game stretch in October and early November, Adams had only one carry —- which he fumbled.
“We just feel the young men that are in front of him are doing the things in those situations that are best for us, just like all the other positions,” Edsall said a Nov. 5 loss to Virginia.
Adams’ predicament even landed him an unexpected cameo on ESPN’s College GameDay on Nov. 12, with a “Free D.J. Adams” sign popping up in the background of the show’s broadcast from Palo Alto, Calif.
With tailbacks Justus Pickett and Jeremiah Wilson nicked up, Adams had 16 carries, 55 yards and a touchdown against Notre Dame that night. It wasn’t, though, a prelude to more work. He had five carries in the final two games, including a career-best 33-yard run against N.C. State.
“I take with me cherished memories of Terrapin football, lifelong friendships and valuable life lessons,” Adams said. “I wish Coach Edsall, the coaching staff and the Maryland football program as a whole much success today and always.”
—- Patrick Stevens