LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – John Wilkinson had a strong opinion on where he thought Tarean Folston should go to college, but the Cocoa High School (Cocoa, Fla.) head coach knew his star running back would have to make the choice for himself.
On Wednesday afternoon, Folston made that choice, announcing his commitment to Notre Dame.
“I’ve been hoping he’d make this decision the whole time,” Wilkinson acknowledged.
“He had to make his own decision, but I think it’s a perfect fit for him for education and football.”
Wilkinson, who is part of the Under Armour Black Team's coaching staff, believes it’s a great fit both ways and says the Irish are getting a standout on and off the field.
“They’re going to get a good football player,” the coach said. “He’s a great competitor and he’ll do whatever is asked of him. He’s going to be where he’s supposed to be when he’s supposed to be there. He’s just a good kid.”
Folston shied away from the media aspect of the recruiting process, but Wilkinson says he’s a good, good kid. The coach was the first to say that Notre Dame landing Florida running back Greg Bryant would only help the Irish in thier pursuit of Folston.
“He’s a high character guy,” said Wilkinson. “He’s a yes-sir, no-sir guy. He’s going to work hard. He’s going to be one of the first at all of the meetings, the last one to leave. He studies film. He knows how to do things the right way.”
The Irish expect to use the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Folston similar to the way they used Theo Riddick. While Folston wants to make a name for himself, Wilkinson expects the role to fit his skill set well.
“It’s perfect, but he wants to be Tarean Folston,” he said. “He’s going to bring some different things. He can work in the slot, he can play in the backfield, he can be a receiver. He’s got a lot.”
Wilkinson gave Irish assistant Tony Alford much of the credit for Folston choosing Notre Dame over schools like Florida State, Oregon, South Carolina, South Florida, Auburn and several others.
“Coach Alford did a great job of recruiting him,” said Wilkinson.