Notre Dame put in work for the 2013 recruiting class, and two of the top players landed play the running back position. I'm talking about Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant, two runners who Irish fans should get to know very well considering they are the future of the backfield.
Both bring a different skill set to South Bend, and many are wondering who will end up having the better career between the two.
It really all depends on what you look for in a running back to make this decision. Are you the guy that wants the runner that does all of the little things correctly, or do you want somebody who can score at any given moment?
We have broken down both of these runners and have made a decision on who will be that next superstar for Notre Dame at the running back position.
Profile on Greg Bryant
The more and more you watch Bryant on tape, the more you fall in love with the kid. There really isn't anything he can't do on the football field. At 5'11", nearly 200 pounds, most would just assume that he is a power back with terrific size at the position, but he is so much more than that.
Bryant has surprisingly quick feet, and he is capable of making defenders miss in the open field. While he doesn't have home-run speed, he does have good enough acceleration to get behind the defense and break off those chunk yardage plays. He can run between the tackles and wear down a defense, or he can kick it to the outside with his lateral quickness.
Another thing to like about Bryant is his ability to block on passing downs and the fact that he is a solid receiver. He has shown impressive hands and can make his fair share of plays in the receiving department.
Of course, with his big frame, he is able to take a pounding and be that workhorse runner that every great backfield needs. Bryant rarely goes down on initial contact and usually always falls forward when being tackled.
Overall, Bryant is a solid runner who brings many different things to the table.
Profile on Tarean Folston
Folston is that prototypical athlete that every coach simply can't get enough of. With the pure speed and ability to score anytime the football is in his hands, Folston is a true offensive threat that you want to touch the ball as many times as possible.
Speed and quickness is what Folston brings to the table. With terrific first-step quickness, great footwork and ability to hit a second gear, Folston is that back that defensive coordinators are concerned about. He can make a defender look silly in the open field by putting a variety of different moves on him, and his change of direction is also impressive.
Along with Folston's skills at the running back position, he could also play the defensive side of the ball, or even line up as a slot receiver. He played some defensive back at the high school level and has shown that he can catch the ball as well, however, he would have to improve his route running if he was to switch to receiver full-time.
Overall, Foston is a versatile athlete who will help stretch the defense and should thrive by creating mismatches on the field.
The Prediction for Best Career
Both of these top recruits should have very successful careers in South Bend. With them being the future at the running back position for the Irish, they could quickly develop into a Keith Marshall- and Todd Gurley-like tandem. It is a perfect combination with Folston providing the top-end speed, while Bryant packing more of a punch and a physical side of things.
But you would have to go with Bryant as far as who should have the more successful career in an Irish uniform.
The reason is because Bryant brings a little bit more to the offense. Not only is a he more consistent pass-catcher, but his ability to block and run between the tackles makes him somebody who can be on the field every down. He can be in the backfield on passing plays without being a liability, and he has the size to be that bell-cow runner to wear down defenses and average 20-plus carries a game.
Folston is a terrific player but isn't the type of runner that can be that workhorse. He is somebody you want to get in space and will likely end up touching the ball far less than Bryant will. The Irish haven't had that runner that can carry majority of the workload since Darius Walker, and they are likely going to take full advantage of it with Bryant.
Both should end up making their mark in South Bend, but due to being a complete running back, Bryant will have the more successful career when it comes to the two stars from the 2013 recruiting class.