PHILADELPHIA ( - From Heisman hopeful to NFL longshot.

That's the roller-coaster Josh Adams has been riding on over the past seven months as somehow a high-profile, productive running back at a football factory like Notre Dame tumbled to priority undrafted free agent status in the 2018 draft process.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson may have given a hint as to why a draftable commodity like Adams was left waiting for a phone call as all seven rounds of the draft came and went last month.

“Obviously he’s limited a little bit right now injury-wise, but I’m excited for this kid,” Pederson said before rookie camp began on Friday. “Great opportunity for him to be around the types of backs that we have, and the leadership that’s in that room with Duce [assistant head coach/RB coach Staley], then we get him going in training camp.”

The issue Pederson spoke of meant Adams was unable to do much of anything during individual drills as three tryout players -- Delaware Valley's Devauntay Ellis, Florida State's Ryan Green, and Wingate's Lawrence Pittman -- held down the fort at the position.

Afterward, Adams, still sporting his familiar No. 33 from his Notre Dame days, downplayed the severity of the injury which an NFL source described to as a hairline fracture.

"Every day I’m feeling better," Adams insisted. "I’m getting better and stronger, and hopefully I’ll get there. I can’t see the future, so I won’t give a time period, but sooner rather than later.”

The injury and running behind two top-10 draft picks -- Indianapolis' Quenton Nelson and Sam Francisco's Mike McGlinchey -- gave pause to many thinking about Adams as a potential mid-round pick.

"I’m here now and I’m excited to be here," Adams insisted when asked about being overlooked. "It was an experience in itself that a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to have, so I was blessed to be a part of it. I’m here now and ready to move forward.”

Here is home for the 6-foot-2, 220-pound back, a Warrington Township, Pa. native who starred at Central Bucks South before arriving in South Bend.

“I was an Eagles fan, but once I played I watched less and less and focused on what I had to do,” Adams explained. “The whole family was down with the city and excited for the Eagles, who just won (the Super Bowl), so the family is excited I’m here.”

The comparisons to Corey Clement, last year's undrafted rookie find, are both natural and a little eerie. Like Adams. Clement was a local kid [Glassboro, N.J.] who put up big-time numbers at a major university [Wisconsin] yet fell through the cracks.

"[Clement] came here and worked like everybody else," Adams said. "That’s what we’re here to do, work and get better to help the team out. That’s what he did. Everybody here is the same.”

Obviously, Adams has to get healthy before he can open the right eyes but the former Fighting Irish bell cow does seem to have a leg up with the most important eye of them all.

"This kid is a tremendous athlete; he's big, a powerful guy," Pederson said.

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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