Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2014

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BY ANDREW OWENS O ne year ago, Tarean Folston had yet to step on Notre Dame's campus as a member of the football program. While Folston finished high school hundreds of miles away, the program's four re- turning running backs benefited from 15 spring practices. That disadvantage did not, however, keep the Cocoa, Fla., native off the field in 2013. Folston rushed for 470 yards and three touchdowns, and he rose to the top of the Irish depth chart by the end of the season. Yet he refuses to view himself as the starter amid intense competition with fellow sophomore Greg Bryant and senior Cam McDan- iel. "I wouldn't say I'm in the No. 1 role," Folston said. "I've been telling everybody I've been trying to work hard every day and work on things I make mistakes on and not make the same mistake twice. I study a lot of film and work hard in the weight room, out in the field and do what I'm told. "[Being the starter is] everybody's desire, but nothing's in stone or con- crete. I couldn't tell you if I'm going to be the guy, but me, Greg, Cam, we're all going to work hard." With senior Amir Carlisle now catching balls at slot receiver and George Atkinson III in the NFL, the Notre Dame running back competi- tion from last fall has been whittled down to three. Last year 's promise has led to greater expectations from the coaching staff during 2014 prepa- rations. "What we're looking for from him is probably a little bit more and we've asked him to do a little bit more," head coach Brian Kelly said. "We're ask- ing our backs to do a little bit more pass protection this year. We've chal- lenged those guys in pass protection. Just recall; we don't want to have to go through this teaching progression again with them. I think we've seen that, some pretty good recall from him. "We told [Folston], here's a chance for you to separate yourself. You've got a chance to play, so if we have to treat you like a freshman, then you're taking a step back. I've asked him to really be that guy who we don't have to go over it with again and again. I think he's done a pretty good job." According to running backs coach Tony Alford, Folston displayed strong retention skills during spring practice. "The biggest thing is how much information can you retain and then Total RECALL Tarean Folston looks to build on what he learned and accomplished in 2013

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