NCF On The Trail: Tarean Folston

Folston stays with Notre Dame 

February, 6, 2013
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Tarean Folston, the No. 6 athlete and No. 66 overall prospect in the ESPN 150, ultimately stuck with his commitment to Notre Dame this afternoon after a late push from Auburn.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder originally pledged to the Irish during the week of the Under Armour All-America Game. Notre Dame now has 12 commits in the ESPN 300, including nine in the ESPN 150.

-- Mitch Sherman

What is the impact of Folston's decision?

Recruiting complicated for ATH Folston 

January, 29, 2013
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Tarean FolstonMiller Safrit/ESPN.comESPN 150 athlete Tarean Folston is committed to Notre Dame.

ESPN 150 athlete Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) will make his decision next Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET in a school signing day ceremony. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior is still committed to Notre Dame, but things have become complicated.


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Four-star ATH Folston to visit SEC school 

January, 18, 2013
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Two weeks ago ESPN 150 athlete Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) committed to Notre Dame while participating in the Under Armour All-America Game. Recruitment for the 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior didn’t stop with his commitment, however, as Folston is taking a last-minute official visit to an SEC school this weekend.


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If ESPN 150 athlete Max Redfield (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) plays defense for the Fighting Irish, he will be a significant upgrade in athleticism, speed and talent over what they have now. Conversely, especially considering what we saw with USC's Marqise Lee two years ago, having played safety in the Under Armour game, Redfield could just as easily be an offensive weapon at wide receiver for Notre Dame. Regardless, the Irish just got better with the additions of Redfield and fellow Under Armour All-American Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) this week.

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Weekly Commitment Update 

January, 4, 2013
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ACC
Duke
Chris Holmes WR Fredricksburg, Va./Chancellor
HT: 6-1 WT: 190
Position Rank: #104 WR

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Hackenberg, Olsen earn UA Game starts

January, 3, 2013
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Black Team offense

Quarterback: Christian Hackenberg (Penn State)

Running back: Alvin Kamara

Receiver: Alvin Bailey (Florida), Robert Foster (Alabama), Damore'ea Stringfellow (Washington)

Tight end: O.J. Howard (Alabama)

Offensive tackle: Darius James (Texas), Denver Kirkland

Offensive guard: Grant Hill (Alabama), Joas Aguilar (Texas A&M)

Center: Hunter Bivin (Notre Dame)

Captains: Kelvin Taylor, Hunter Bivin, Robert Nkemdiche, Ben Boulware

Black Team defense

Defensive end: Robert Nkemdiche, Elijah Daniel

Defensive tackle: Greg Gilgmore (LSU), Kennedy Tulimasealii (Hawaii)

Inside linebacker: Ben Boulware (Clemson)

Outside linebacker: Alex Anzalone (Notre Dame), Matthew Thomas

Safety: Keanu Neal (Florida), Leon McQuay III

Cornerback: Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida), Tarean Folston (Notre Dame)

Black Team special teams

Long snapper: Tyler Kluver (Iowa)

Kicker/punter: Sean Covington (UCLA)

White Team offense

Quarterback: Kevin Olsen (Miami)

Running back: Keith Ford (Oklahoma)

Receiver: Laquon Treadwell, Ryan Green (Florida State), Jalin Marshall (Ohio State)

Tight end: Hunter Henry (Arkansas)

Offensive tackle: Derwin Gray (Maryland), Dorian Johnson (Pittsburgh)

Offensive guard: Patrick Kugler (Michigan), David Dawson (Michigan)

Center: Scott Quessenberry (UCLA)

White Team defense

Defensive end: Carl Lawson (Auburn), Joey Bosa (Ohio State)

Defensive tackle: Henry Poggi (Michigan), Kelsey Griffin (South Carolina)

Inside linebacker: Reuben Foster, Yannick Ngakoue

Outside linebacker: Trey Johnson

Safety: Max Redfield, Antonio Conner

Cornerback: Gareon Conley (Ohio State), Shaq Wiggins (Georgia)

White Team special teams

Long snapper: Brendan Turelli

Kicker: Ryan Santoso (Minnesota)

Punter: Shane Tripucka

Captains: Ryan Green, Hunter Henry, Patrick Kugler, Reuben Foster

Scouts: Irish get playmaker in Folston 

January, 3, 2013
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Notre Dame now has another explosive back with return capabilities joining last year's Under Armour All-American Davonte' Neal to provide a significant upgrade in playmaking ability for the Irish offense.

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Semper Fi Day 3: Kamara stands out 

January, 2, 2013
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FULLERTON, Calif. -- With the first-day jitters long gone and players beginning to settle into their game-day roles during the third day of practices for the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, several players continue to jump out with impressive performances. On Wednesday, it was defensive back David Kamara (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) who authored a standout showing.

[+] EnlargeDavid Kamara
Erik McKinney/ESPN.comEast defensive coordinator Shawn Raney said on Day 3 of practice for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl that David Kamara, right, can play anywhere in the secondary.
“He’s a very athletic kid,” said Shawn Raney, defensive coordinator for the East team. “He understands the game and he catches onto stuff really quickly. He’s mentally sharp and does a nice job.”

During one-on-one action early in the day, Kamara made a terrific play on a deep ball while in coverage against Jordan Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks). He stuck with the big receiver down the field and knocked the ball away at the last minute. It was a glimpse at his physical ability, and the East coaches have been impressed with his mental capacity as well.

“The first day I let them go where they thought they could play and I watched them move around,” Raney said after Day 3 practice. “Today was the first day where I put them at specific spots, and he’s the type of kid who could play any of them. He’s playing corner and some strong safety for us. He’s athletic enough to be a corner and smart enough to play safety. He has very quick feet and nice, loose hips where he can turn and rotate with receivers. He’s a very good athlete.”

Kamara is the only undecided recruit in the secondary for the East squad, but the 5-foot-10, 175-pound cornerback said he is focusing in on three schools: Clemson, LSU and Mississippi.

A former Clemson commitment, Kamara pulled away from the Tigers in November and wanted to explore his options. He’ll do that later this month, as he has official visits scheduled to LSU on Jan. 11 and Mississippi on Jan. 25. He is trying to set up a visit to Clemson for Jan. 18. Kamara holds offers from Clemson and Mississippi but said LSU is still waiting to offer.

“They told me I was going to have to wait and see because when I committed to Clemson, I wasn’t really talking to them and they got a couple commitments at my position,” Kamara said of LSU. “I have to wait and see, but Coach [Brick] Haley has always been honest with me.”

A.J. Richardson
Brandon Oliver/ESPN.comCal WR commit A.J. Richardson confirmed at Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl practice that he is giving other programs serious looks.
Kamara said he is hoping to have a decision made toward the end of January after he takes his visits.

Newsmaker: Without any real movement on either roster in the recruiting world on Wednesday, the biggest buzz was generated when word began to circulate around the East team about the commitment of four-star running back Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa), who is in Orlando, Fla., this week for the Under Armour All-America Game. He makes 12 ESPN 300 commitments for Notre Dame, and with four Fighting Irish verbal commits on the East roster, the news was met with plenty of enthusiasm.

“That circulated pretty fast,” Notre Dame quarterback commit Malik Zaire (Kettering, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) said. “We caught word and we’re very excited to have another running back, especially a great running back. That only makes my job a lot easier.”

Trending: Rumors of possible decommitments were flying around the West team in Sanata Ana, Calif., on the third day of practice for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

After visiting Duke, Nevada and Boise State, Cal WR commit A.J. Richardson (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) confirmed that he is giving all three programs a serious look after failing to hear much from Cal's new staff.

Washington OL commit Sean Harlow (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) remains committed to the Huskies, but a visit to Oregon State appears to have him thinking about a change of heart.

What's on tap: With walk through and additional game prep scheduled for the Semper Fi game participants on Thursday, the underclassmen will take center stage during the Proving Ground underclassmen combine.


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#UAGame practice: Day 3 notebook 

January, 2, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Things heated up at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports for Day 3 of practice. With the temperature rising to nearly 80 degrees Wednesday, friendly competition and the battle between prospects to prove themselves escalated. And the first commitments -- and decommitments -- of the Under Armour All-America Game were made. To see the impact of those moves, check out our updated class rankings.


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Notre Dame is 4-star Folston's new home 

January, 2, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- ESPN 150 athlete Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) has committed to Notre Dame. The 5-foot-9, 192-pound chose Notre Dame over Florida State and Oregon.

Tarean Folston
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comATH Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) runs bigger than his size would indicate and has good vision and patience, scouts say.
Folston, the nation’s No. 9 athlete, announced his decision today after Under Armour All-America Game practice at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports. The four-star prospect said the Fighting Irish fan base was a big reason he chose Notre Dame.

“I went on a visit there and when I went there I just felt like I could do this for four years,” Folston said. “The coaches were great, the players were great. There was a lot of energy around there, and there is a lot of people wanting to get the same goal to get to the BCS championship. They are on their way now. We are going to pull this thing out.”

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#UAGame practice: Day 2 notebook 

January, 1, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There were several standouts at Tuesday's Day 2 practice for the Under Armour All-America Game (5 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN). Two players -- one for Team Nitro, the other for Team Highlight -- said they are closing in on their college decisions and will make their announcements Friday. Meanwhile, the nation's No. 1 player left the field at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports with an injury.

Folston closing in on decision

Four-star athlete Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) is set to make his college decision Friday. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound ESPN 150 will chose between Notre Dame, Florida State and Oregon.

Folston has been a standout defensive back during the first two days of practice, but he's being recruited by all three of his final schools to play running back.

He said he likes the familiar feeling he gets from Notre Dame and Oregon.

"It's just a home feeling, the fans around there are great fans. The community is all involved in football. It's just a nice town and a home feeling environment. With Oregon, it's pretty much the same as Notre Dame. They are two different schools but I call it 'the village,' just everybody in that place comes together and helps support the team."

Florida State is the only school Folston is considering from his home state, but he insists distance won't be a factor in his decision.


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#UAGame practice: Day 1 notebook 

December, 31, 2012
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -– Team Nitro and Team Highlight took to the fields at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports on Monday for Day 1 of practice for Friday’s Under Armour All-America Game (5 p.m. ET, ESPN). Two powerhouse programs in the Southeastern Conference look to battle it out for one of the standout running backs, and one of the top uncommitted offensive linemen is out with an injury.

Tide and Dawgs at top for RB Kamara

The Under Armour All-America Game boasts a bevy of talented running backs, and after the first practice ESPN 150 prospect Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) drew comparisons to one of the best.

[+] EnlargeAlvin Kamara
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comESPN 150 RB Alvin Kamara says Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and Georgia running backs coach Bryan McClendon have been key to his recruiting process.
“They say I play like Percy Harvin,” Kamara said.

The 5-foot-10, 192-pound tailback has made a name for himself as a home-run threat out of the backfield or lined up in the slot, which makes it no surprise that programs across the country are pining for his commitment. Two from the SEC are in the lead.

“Alabama and Georgia are the front-runners, but I am still looking at Oregon -- and Tennessee too, with Butch Jones being there now,” Kamara said.

The nation's No. 4 running back has yet to set any official visits, but plans to do so after he gets home from the UA Game. A decision will likely come after his visits.

“This is not going to be a busy month so much as it is just something I need to buckle down and do,” Kamara said. “I am going to take these visits and base my decision off of that.”

One factor in his decision will be the relationship he has with the coaches recruiting him. The Tide could have a slight advantage because they made first contact with Kamara.

“Kirby Smart and I are really close,” Kamara said. “He was the first coach to ever talk to me. He snuck me his card after practice and I could not believe it. For a coach of his stature to be the first coach to talk to me is great. We have been in contact ever since, and we have a great relationship.”

Georgia might counter that with their running backs coach being Kamara’s recruiter of record.

“Coach [Bryan] McClendon and I have a great relationship too,” Kamara said. “With him being my position coach, I could see myself playing for him. We are on a friend level and we do not even talk about football most of the time.”

The in-state Bulldogs also have a few people in Kamara’s ear this week, though he admits they have been putting the pressure on him for quite some time.

“Even when we are not in a big event like this, guys like Shaq Wiggins, Brice Ramsey, even Reuben [Foster], even though he is not committed, are always asking where I am going,” Kamara said. “They are joking, but they are on me pretty hard sometimes.”

Newsworthy: OL Crowder deals with injury, sets officials

ESPN 150 offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder (Rockingham, N.C./Richmond) will be unable to play in Friday's UA Game after aggravating a hand injury he sustained a few weeks ago at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. While he is disappointed, Crowder said today he is looking forward to the home stretch of his recruitment and choosing from one of two programs.

“It is Clemson No. 1 and Georgia No. 2, and I will decide on signing day,” said Crowder, ranked the No. 2 OG in the country.

The Tigers have been after the 6-foot-1, 330-pound offensive lineman for more than three years now, and they have location and familiarity working in their favor.

“Clemson has been recruiting me since I was in ninth grade,” Crowder said. “I like what they have going on and I have built a strong relationship with them. It is close to home and I have some family close to Clemson. I will take my official there Jan. 11.”

Crowder has not been to Athens for six months, but he has fond memories of his visit.

“Georgia is a great powerhouse team in the SEC,” Crowder said. “When I went down there during the summer I really liked the campus and enjoyed meeting the coaches. I spoke to them two weeks ago and set an official visit Jan. 18.”

Trending

It was only the first day of practice, but Team Highlight (Black team) quarterbacks got off to an impressive start.


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ESPN 150 ATH Folston talks ND, Oregon 

November, 1, 2012
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ESPN 150 athlete Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) played in 36 straight games for Cocoa. He’s rushed for nearly 3,500 yards and 39 touchdowns over the last three seasons. So it’s no surprise that the 5-foot-9, 190-pound senior has his choice of schools, with Notre Dame, South Florida, Oregon and Tennessee seemingly out in front.

He recently took his first official visit to Notre Dame to watch the Fighting Irish defeat BYU.

"It was a great trip and I finally got to meet all of the coaches in person," Folston said. "I got a chance to see the players and how they worked in the program and still managed their academics. The campus was beautiful, the people were very friendly.

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Athlete Antwan Lee looking for home 

October, 23, 2012
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With just a few weeks left in the Florida high school football season and less than four months before national signing day, several prospects hoping to rise from under the radar.

Cocoa (Fla.) running back Antwan Lee has played a pivotal role for the Tigers for three seasons. He and ESPN 150 athlete Tarean Folston helped Cocoa win a state championship in 2010 and Lee rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in 2011 as Cocoa reached the Class 4A state semifinals.

At the beginning of the season, both Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee State were on the verge of offering Lee, but both schools have since backed off and the 5-foot-9, 175-pound athlete is hoping a final stretch of games and a strong playoff run will give him another shot with some FBS programs.

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Notes from South Florida Camp, 7-on-7 

June, 18, 2012
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The University of South Florida held the first session of their Sling & Shoot 7-on-7 tournament over the weekend and a one-day prospect camp today. The Bulls coaching staff will be involved with the program's padded-team camp this week leading into their SuperBull Showcase on Saturday.

" Tampa (Fla.) Plant, Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar, Punta Gorda (Fla.) Charlotte and Seffner (Fla.) Armwood were the final four teams in the Sling & Shoot. Plant defeated Dunbar in the finals behind a strong effort from quarterback Aaron Banks and wide receiver Tristan Cooper. Cooper's offers include Iowa State, Arkansas State, East Carolina and Florida Atlantic.

" Dunbar wide receiver Johnell Barnes was electric in the semifinals and championship game and nearly unstoppable in one-on-one coverage. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound junior committed to Duke earlier in the week and visited with the South Florida coaches for a few minutes after the game.

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