Freshman running backs catching Kelly's attention

Freshman running backs catching Kelly's attention
September 17, 2013, 2:00 pm
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They aren't in Notre Dame's running back rotation just yet, but freshmen Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston have impressed coach Brian Kelly.

The two highly-touted recruits haven't seen much playing time, outside of garbage time against Temple and one snap each against Purdue. But Kelly's liked what he's seen from both as he continues to see the Irish backfield come into focus.

"I like the way Greg runs," Kelly said. "He's just really a physical, hard runner. He's just downhill. There's not a lot of wasted movement. He gets it and goes."

That wasn't the case when Bryant arrived in South Bend, Kelly said.

"When he first got here, there was a lot of dancing, and now it's Point A to Point B," Kelly said. "I like the way he hits things, very good acceleration."

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As for Folston, who came to Notre Dame with a four-star rating by Rivals (Bryant was a five-star recruit), Kelly has been similarly pleased.

"Folston is very smooth," Kelly said. "Just looks like everything he does is very smooth. Gets out of his breaks very, very well. Puts his foot in the ground and can accelerate. Catches the ball extremely well. Both those guys really catch my attention."

As for the immediate future of Notre Dame's backfield, Bryant and Folston may not have an impact. While Kelly's been impressed, he said he's still evaluating the pair to figure out if they're ready to crack a rotation comprised of Amir Carlisle (30 carries, 148 yards), Cam McDaniel (29 carries, 125 yards) and George Atkinson (18 carries, 98 yards). 

"We think we've got five," Kelly said, "(but) we haven't been able to get five on the field."