“Roll with the punches. Tomorrow is another day.”
This quote epitomizes the plight of Notre Dame fans since Alabama blasted the Irish in the BCS National Title Game, 42-14.
Notre Dame fans were only able to mourn for a few hours. After the conclusion of the game, Head Coach Brian Kelly spoke with the Philadelphia Eagles about their vacant Head Coaching position. During that period, Alex Anzalone (the second best commitment in the class behind 5-star Linebacker Jaylon Smith) de-committed from the Fighting Irish and enrolled at the University of Florida. Just when things felt as if they were getting back to normal, Deadspin reported that one of college football best storylines was a hoax.
Could it get any worse? Yes, unfortunately for Notre Dame fans it can. Reports have surfaced today that Tarean Folston, arguably the most athletic player in the 2013 class, will visit Auburn. The Tigers Coaching Staff attempted to also get Running Back Greg Bryant to visit campus but he cancelled his trip.
Why is this occurring only two weeks after Folston gave his commitment to the Fighting Irish? It seems that Folston could be concerned with Notre Dame’s off-and-on recruitment of Ty Issac, a 5-star Running Back out of Joliet, Illinois.
Although it is unclear whether or not there is mutual interest between the two, it may be enough to frustrate Folston into looking at what his options were. It is probably unlikely that there is a great deal of mutual interest between Issac and Notre Dame. Issac sees himself as a downhill runner, someone who would be better suited for a pro-style Offense. Notre Dame views Issac simply as an athlete who can play multiple positions on both Offense and Defense, the “classic” skill player as Brian Kelly likes to call them. These two perspectives do not jive.
Folston had been interested in Auburn for a long time. It was in his Top 5 until Gene Chizik was fired. In fact, 3 of Folston’s 5 programs lost their Head Coach. This left Notre Dame and Oregon (who at the time of the decision was still coached by Chip Kelly). Folston selected the Fighting Irish. But, Auburn has obviously reached out to the 4-star prospect.
Gus Malzahn was the Offensive Coordinator for the Auburn Tigers when they won the National Title in 2010. He is one of the best Offensive minds in the nation. Folston could see early playing in a fast, fun spread Offense if he selects the Tigers.
Notre Dame needs to go into damage control with Folston. Whatever is causing Folston to look at Auburn, prove that Notre Dame does it better. Brian Kelly or Chuck Martin need to be in his living room tonight to prevent him from ever setting foot on campus.
Kelly and his staff recruit well. But, they need to fight through the negative attention that has been surrounding the program over the past few weeks and land one of the nation’s top recruiting classes. This will only help them sustain their dominance on the field.