With Notre Dame's top two running backs graduating, the team will need to reload its backfield. Consensus four-star Tarean Folston will be part of that recharging process, as he stuck with the Irish despite a run from Auburn.
Florida speedster Tarean Folson is one of two top running backs to choose Notre Dame, despite an SEC school trying to grab him following his committal to the Fighting Irish.
The consensus four-star running back isn't a physically imposing at just 5'9, 190 pounds, but he runs a blistering 4.40 40 time. It's that speed that makes him a top commit. ESPN doesn't rank him as a running back, but rather an athlete, No. 6 in that category, while Rivals classifies him as the No. 14 running back in the country.
Here's what Notre Dame blog One Foot Down's Jim Miesle had to say about the Cocoa, Florida native after his committal:
Don't let the height fool you-he isn't afraid of contact and his highlights show he is a difficult guy to tackle. Most of the tape shows a slashing type runner who makes the cut and gets up-field quickly, but there are also a few plays where he cuts back across the entire field-a habit several players develop before college and one that he will have to unlearn quickly.
Overall, he is an excellent fit for Brian Kelly's offensive system both as a true RB and also in the slot. He will probably need to add 10-15 lbs before getting extended action in the backfield, but with the current situation with the depth chart, he doesn't need to touch the ball 15-20 times a game from day one.
Miesle argues that Folston will slot into the a hybrid role off the bat before he gets more consistent carries.
Folston had long drawn interest from the Irish, finally committing during practices for the Under Armour All-American game over Oregon, where he also visited, and a host of other schools, including Florida, Florida State, Miami and Stanford. That wouldn't be the end of his recruitment process -- other schools, such as Auburn, continued to look at stealing the recruit from Notre Dame, and he took a visit to check out Gus Malzahn and the Tigers. But he insisted his commitment to the Fighting Irish, and as of signing day he's held strong.
The Irish lose a load up front at running back: the team's top two rushers, Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood, were both seniors this past season. Luckily, there's a load coming in: in addition to Folston, Notre Dame gets consensus five-star recruit Greg Bryant, also from South Florida in a packed running back class from that state. While Folston is certainly an elite addition to the class, Bryant is considered the No. 2 running back in the nation by ESPN and No. 3 by Rivals.
Twitter: Folston tweets at @TFolston10.
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