Members of the Jacksonville coaching staff became familiar faces to Nike Baltimore Elite players and coaches over the past several months. Since the spring, City wing Tim Bond and Mount St. Joseph point guard Jaylen Adams have been at the top of the Dolphins' wish list for their 2014 recruiting class.
Last week, Jacksonville's efforts paid off with a commitment from Bond. On Wednesday night, Adams followed suit by pledging to the Dolphins.
"It was just the right time," Adams said Wednesday night. "I really liked it after the visit. I liked playing with the players, I liked the coaches, and it just seemed like a real good place."
Adams picked Jacksonville over an offer from Mount St. Mary's. LIU-Brooklyn, Quinnipiac and Fairfield were also involved, with all three schools expected to watch the 6-foot, 170-pound player this weekend.
The Jacksonville coaches "were the ones who talked to me the most," Adams said. "It just felt like they kind of wanted me the most out of anybody. … They told me I'll get a lot of playing time. I'll be able to make a big impact as soon as I get there."
A two-year starter at point guard for the Gaels, Adams averaged around 10 points for the Baltimore Catholic League tournament champions as a junior. He facilitated a prolific Mount St. Joseph offense that featured Kam Williams (now a freshman shooting guard at Ohio State), Phil Booth (Villanova) and Jordan McNeil (Towson).
Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchey said Adams is an excellent shooter with good vision and strong ball-handling skills. Clatchey expects his point guard to learn a lot in college from his new coach, a Silver Spring native.
"The head coach at Jacksonville, Cliff Warren, is a former point guard at Mount St. Mary's," Clatchey said. "I think he's in a situation that can really benefit Jaylen at the next level. … I think he made a great decision. I think it's a great fit."
Adams, meanwhile, is looking forward to reuniting with his Nike Baltimore Elite teammate in college. Adams and Bond actually took their visits to Jacksonville together.
"He was trying to get me [to commit] ever since he committed," Adams said. "I like playing with Timmy. We kind of feed off each other real well. It's just a good fit playing together."
"I think it's a good place," he said. "I want to do as much as I can, as soon as possible. I just look for doing whatever I can to get a few wins and basically do big things."