DJ Adams came to Portland State from Maryland, where he already had a reputation as a solid goal line runner.
In his first season as a running back for the Terrapins, Adams ran for a team-high 11 scores, a freshman record.
In his senior season for the Vikings, Adams once again is scoring at an alarming rate, but the Norcross, Ga., product is also showcasing the complete game that had him ranked as one of the top high school recruits in the nation.
Through four games this season, Adams leads the Big Sky Conference and ranks fourth in the FCS with seven rushing touchdowns.
His 491 rushing yards also top the Big Sky and rank ninth in the country. His 122.8-yard per-game average is 12th in the FCS.
In last week’s 41-10 victory at UC Davis, Adams ran for a career-high 208 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
At 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds when he first showed up in Portland, Adams has shed about 10 pounds and is showing he also has the speed to go along with the power that makes him an ideal red-zone runner.
He had touchdown runs of 85 and 27 yards against the Aggies.
The production isn’t surprising considering Adams’ background.
Scout.com ranked the Norcross High standout as the No. 16 running back in the nation. Rivals.com had him at 29th. Adams also made an appearance in the ESPNU 150 while rushing for 1,584 yards and 14 touchdowns on 257 carries as a senior, leading his team to an 8-4 record.
With Portland State now leading the FCS with 328 rushing yards per game, the Vikings rushing attack starts with Adams.
The Portland State offense, much like Cal Poly’s triple option, makes it hard for the defense to focus on one person.
“They do a lot of tricky stuff with the pistol and the running back,” Cal Poly junior middle linebacker Nick Dzubnar said. “The pistol stuff, it’s all about flow; it’s all about the linemen climbing to the linebackers. So, if we get a good read on the flow and we do our assignment, someone has the quarterback and someone has the running back, we’re going to do a good job.”