Coach Brian Kelly has received his 22nd verbal commitment for the 2013 class today from RB Tarean Folston (Cocoa, FL - Cocoa). He is listed at 5'9" and 185 lbs and runs a 4.40 40 yard dash.
Folston committed to the Irish a bit earlier than expected this week, as he moved up his announcement from during the UA All-American game to this afternoon. He chose Notre Dame over Oregon and held several offers including Florida State, Stanford and Miami among others.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - 4 star (#22 FL, #9 RB), 84 Grade (72nd Overall)
Rivals - 4 star (#35 FL, #13 RB), 5.8 Grade (#183 Overall)
Scout - 4 star (#21 RB, #177 Overall)
247Sports - 4 star (#19 FL, #9 RB), 94 Grade (#116 Overall)
The Irish staff has been looking at Folston for a long time as a fit for the slot WR/RB combo It is difficult to imagine a scenario where he doesn't find his way on the field as a freshman-even if just on special teams. Don't be surprised if he is lined up to return kick-offs when the fall rolls around and sneaks into the two-deep at the slot WR/RB hybrid role behind Davonte' Neal.
Folston is a pretty unique running back prospect. Due to his size, he probably hasn't received as much attention as other RB prospects from Florida this year. 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. A tremendous athlete, Tarean has been getting a lot of attention at the UA practices this week as a defensive back and should have a nice career ahead of him in South Bend.
Welcome to Notre Dame Tarean!