Feb. 1, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly speaks at a press conference for national signing day at the Guglielmnio Athletics Complex. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Prospect Evaluation: Notre Dame Prospect Tarean Folston

Folston hasn’t decided where he will be attending school next fall in 2013. He is ranked 205th overall in the nation according to Rivals.com and the 14th ranked running back in the country. He visited Notre Dame last Saturday when the Irish took on BYU. Now it wasn’t a great game to watch altogether, but let’s see what positives came out of the visit. Well Notre Dame used 3 running backs during the game, which is promising for a young freshman concerned about playing time. We will see where this goes, but Notre Dame is on the short list of his top schools that includes, Auburn, Nebraska, Stanford, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech. Don’t forget about almost every Florida college that is after Folston as well. Before the season started Folston stated that he wouldn’t take any official visits, well he just took one last weekend at Notre Dame.

Strengths

The 4 star recruit from Florida that stands 5’10’’ 195 pounds, but is a balanced back that can do it all. His two greatest strengths are his speed and quickness. After Folston gets the ball he is quick to the hole and is already running full speed by the time he gets through it. It has been reported that he runs between a 4.4-4.48 40 yard dash. His vision and cutting ability make him that next level back that Notre Dame will need in the next 2 years. Folston has the sixth sense that a running back needs to be successful, which is being able to see the field and find an open space to make a couple cuts for a big gain. After he makes a cut you can see how fast he reaccelerates back to his top speed. Being a balanced back means you have the speed to run past and around people, but also the strength and mentality to run through opponents. A balanced back can be an every down back like Cierre Wood and after the BYU game Theo Riddick showed he was an every down back.

Weaknesses

There are a couple of things that I saw that concern me a little bit. Many of his runs are toss sweeps or off tackle plays that get him into more space to make plays. He does do well running up the gut, but the times he did he had a hole the size of the Grand Canyon. What will he do when he runs into a wall of offensive linemen? There was one play in particular where he ran east and west many times and ended up gaining 10 or so yards. Now, at the next level this stuff usually won’t work, especially against the top caliber opponents Notre Dame plays. A college running back needs to run north south and that is all. There are times you have to run east and west to get outside, but you cannot start dancing in the backfield. It almost always results in a loss of yards.

Overall, Folston seems like a good recruit that is underrated in my opinion. He could be a steal for any team that gets him to commit. Notre Dame will keep pursuing this guy, since they will more than likely loose Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick. Look for Folston to see time in his sophomore to junior year backing up GAIII.

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