Notre Dame Commit Tarean Folston Visiting Auburn

tarean folston auburn
Tarean Folston (10) knocks the ball away from Robbie Rhodes (2) during the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game between Team Highlight (Black) and Team Nitro (white) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. (Photo – Cliff Welch / Icon SMI)

The Notre Dame recruiting train was steaming full speed ahead a few weeks ago, but since Notre Dame picked up Max Redfield and Tarean Folston in the days before the Discover BCS Championship, the Irish lost 4 star linebacker Alex Anzalone and now the Irish appear to be on thin ice with Folston.  The 4-star running back will visit Auburn this weekend despite committing to Notre Dame just two weeks ago.

When Tarean Folston committed to Notre Dame, he gave the Irish one of the best one-two punches at running back in a single recruiting class in a long time along with fellow running back commitment Greg Bryant.

What has changed in the two weeks since Folston’s commitment is unclear.  While Brian Kelly flirted with the NFL after interviewing with the Philadelphia Eagles, he reasserted his own commitment to Notre Dame and reports have surfaced that a contract extension is in the works for Kelly and Notre Dame.

Was Kelly’s flirtation with the NFL enough ammunition for the Auburn coaches to get the speedy running back to visit this weekend?  Possibly, although we won’t know for sure until Folston returns from his trip and talks with reporters.

Auburn was high on Folston’s list before they fired Gene Chizik following another disappointing season.  With Gus Malzahn in place now though, his new staff appears to have at the very least convinced Folston to give them a second look.

Notre Dame’s class is still a consensus top 5 class right now, but if Auburn is able to lure Folston away, it would be a huge blow to Notre Dame and they could very drop out of the top 5.  More importantly though, Folston is the homerun threat in this class at running back and would be the most athletic tailback on the Irish roster in 2013.

It’s not time to panic just yet, but anytime a recruit takes a visit somewhere else this late in the recruiting process it’s not a good sign.  Kelly and his staff still have plenty of time to pull Folston back into the fold, and the good news is, with only a couple spots left in this class, they can put the full-court press to keep Folston as part of the “Irish Mob”.


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  1. The “yellow journalism” press strikes again. Now that it’s clear that Manti had nothing to do with this hoax, the press is back to attacking the school. Just read the “story” above about how ND let Manti down. So, if ND speaks up for Manti, then it’s guilty of a cover up. If it doesn’t speak up for Manti, it doesn’t care about him. Whatever ND does or doesn’t do, it will be attacked by the hacks passing for journalists. Truly, the profession of journalist must rank up there with fortune teller and used car salesman in terms of credibility. (I could also include politicians, corporate execs, and bankers, but wouldn’t want to be accused of making a political statement!)

    Now we have another scandal that will keep the anti-ND pundits and bloggers going for a while with this dumb kid who said he visited ND but really didn’t. Why us?! Why now?! It’s too many fronts to fight on, esp. after a humiliating NC game defeat to Bama a few weeks ago.

    The only way we’ll ever have a leg to stand on (we’ll never shut up the haters altogether, however!) is by winning it all. That’s the only way ND can have the high ground again. The haters don’t care about graduation rates or the like. They only understand wins and losses. ND needs more of the former and less of the latter. Above all, we need a NC. Of course, ND should never sell its soul like so many other schools have done to do so.

    The NCAA is a corrupt, banana-republic-like organization. ND will never really be able to win regularly with these money-grubbers at the NCAA running things. So long as you don’t get caught, cheat away, win big, make tons of money. That’s the language the NCAA understands. That’s the language the SEC and other football factories understand. That’s a language ND cannot and should never learn to speak. Yes, win, win big, make money doing so, but continue to graduate athletes, continue to uphold moral values, continue to reinvest monies from athletics into education. That’s the ND way!

    How I’d love for ND to prove that one can win and do it the right way!

  2. Also, Jack, you’re probably one of the few people here who thinks our secondary is stronger than our front 7. Like I said, we have a lot of talent and depth at the DL and LBs spots. Not so much in the secondary. Now, I agree that our top remaining recruit is a DT, E. Vanderdoes

  3. Jack,

    Again, why does it have to be EITHER getting and keeping top-notch talent OR developing players? I’d think that a great coaching staff could do both, that is, BOTH get the best talent (and keep it!) AND develop said talent.

    Either or thinking is settling for less when ND can and should demand both and thinking!

    BTW: Look at Bama’s roster and you’ll see the fruits of both bringing in and developing top recruits. Now while ND can’t get all the players Bama or other football factories can, it can most certainly hold its own if it wins on the field.


  4. BK and his staff better make sure they keep Folston. We need all the talent we can get right now. Asuch as I hate to say it, I don’t think we will Vanderdoes or Larue. I hope I’m wrong

  5. jeff,


    Like I said, we need to keep this class together and hopefully add DT Vanderdoes. Do that and the class is a top 3 class according to the major recruiting services. Not bad considering the poor showing in the NC game and ND’s stringent demands.

    When ND starts to win regularly, then, indeed, they will get top classes no doubt.

  6. These kids get Five official visits and they should take them all. Its all part of the process. It never feels good to lose a top talent at the 11th hour but its going to happen every year especially when your team has a poor performance in its bowl game. ND is heading in the right direction and once they start winning BCS bowl games they will be turning recruits away. As for now its hard to really complain about what looks to be another top ten recruiting class for Notre Dame. Go Irish

  7. It’s easy to say good riddance. It’s not so easy to see these athletes go on to do what R. Darby, for example, did this year at FSU and not wonder how such a shut down CB would’ve helped this season, and next season, and the one after that. ND’s recruiting pool isn’t big enough to assume that “there will always be another kid in waiting.” That’s just not true. As the NC game showed, ND needs all the talent it can get. So ND cannot simply continue to lose out on top talent at the 11th hour.

    We need to keep Folston and Bryant. Given our depth at RB I might even consider moving Folston to CB like ND did with K. Russell last season. (I say this because it looks like ND will miss out on both P. Willis and M. Alexander). At this point BK and his staff need to focus on keeping this group intact and adding DT E. Vanderdoes. I’d also wouldn’t mind adding another speedster on O like S. LaRue (another ex-USC recruit).

    It’s hold your breath time until National Signing Day.

    1. Steelfan,

      I followed Darby at FSU and he played as nickle corner. He wasn’t there shut down and given what Kavare did this year I don’t think we missed him that much. The main area where ND needs to hit the trail is D-line. They need a few big bodies in the interior

      1. Now imagine if we had both going forward. Why do we have to think in either or terms?! To be able to compete with the big boys we need the talent of both a R. Darby and K. Russell. We’ve lost out on some big-time talent at CB of late. Are you really suggesting our DB depth wouldn’t be better with Darby?

        D line is much deeper than CB and more talented. S. Day and J. Jones will be studs. Also, I. Williams is likely to move to DE. Plus there’s some talent coming in this class. I agree that DT is a need, thus the imperative of trying to get Vanderdoes.

      2. Steelfan,

        I am of the belief that you need to stop worrying about who we lose and worry about developing what we have. If you look at the rosters of some of these teams a lot of 3 star players are being drafted in the NFL and have awesome college careers. If you look at the great corners over the past 10yrs here at ND Shane Walton was a soccer player. Plus ND doesn’t play a lot of press coverage more zone, so I don’t have a problem with the losses of Shepard and Darby. I also don’t have a problem with Greenberry, he didn’t set the world on fire in Houston. I like how Kelly recruits and see a lot of depth coming into the defensive backfield this year. Front 7 is the key to winning and that is where I think this class is weak.

      3. Jack, you may be right about Greenberry not setting the world on fire at Houston but when you compare his production on the field to our true freshmen receivers it seems he did alright. 47catches for 569yds and 3tds compared to neal, brown, and fergusons’ combined 3catches for 65 yds. It would be hard to convince me that losing Greenberry was no big deal.

      4. jeff,

        Excellent point!

        I get the impression that Jack is an either or thinker. Either Darby or Russell. Either a DL or CB. Either recruiting or player development. I hope you understand that I think ND doesn’t have to settle for either or logic. ND can and should have the best of both.

        Some people will try to rationalize losses with either or thinking. Rather than asking tough questions about the recruiting process, they’ll just either say good riddance or it’s either this or that. Well, jeff, ND is in no position for that kind of loser mentality. It’s clear ND cannot and should not lose out on top talent, esp. once they’ve already committed to the program.

  8. I don’t understand what the word “commit” means when kids continue to take visits to other schools. If Tarean is messing around with Auburn, he obviously no longer is committed to Notre Dame. Football aside, it would be a mistake from an academic standpoint – ND is a top-20 national university. Auburn – not so great. And ND graduates virtually every one of its athletes, INCLUDING its African-American athletes. 4 stars or no stars, the odds on making “the league” are pretty slim, so it’s best to graduate with a great degree.

  9. No. I am tired of hearing that year after year. Coach Kelly n the rest of his staff need to be on the phone 24 7, to make sure all of them make to South Bend. The fact kid is still looking means he felt slighted a little bit and we need to fix it. It’s important to get these southeastern kids on the roster!

  10. And another site reports Greg Bryant is also looking at Auburn. OMG!

    Ah! The dastardly rumors that sweep through cyberspace leading up to signing day!

    I’ll believe who we have AFTER they have signed. Until then, we’re just dealing with seniors in high school
    who continue to be fed promises as if they were keys to the kingdom.

    ND remains the real deal for outstanding high school athletes who want a world-class degree
    along with a tradition rich, winning football opportunity.

    If a kid and his parents choose to go elsewhere, there will always be another kid in waiting
    smart enough to take advantage of the great opportunity ND has to offer.

  11. Folston sounds like the Yang to GREG BRYANT’S Yin. On the one hand, he and GB would be a nasty (good) tandem. But on the other hand, if we have to convince TAREAN FOLSTON to be Irish and lure him-away from Auburn, is he NDRKG-stuff? Let’s be careful with these dorks who commit and will not sign-the-dotted-line.

    I’m just saying’…

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