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Four-star linebacker set to visit as commitment wavers

Chris Allen | Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Irish will spend the upcoming weekend hoping to solidify the commitment of one of their top 2013 commitments. Linebacker Alex Anzalone visited Florida for its win over LSU on Oct. 6, and many outlets have reported that he may be wavering in his commitment to Notre Dame. Anzalone, a 6-foot-3 linebacker from Wyomissing, Pa., is the third-best prospect in the 2013 Notre Dame recruiting class, according to ESPN. Irish recruiting expert said that with Anzalone on campus for the BYU game, the Notre Dame recruiting staff will hope to keep the linebacker committed.

“I don’t think it’s a situation where [Anzalone] is just going down to Florida for the fun of it,” said Frank, who runs the ESPN-affiliated Irish Sports Daily. “I think he has an interest in Florida and has for a long time. Where the disconnect is with Notre Dame, there’s been a lot of speculation, and Alex hasn’t said one way or the other what the issue is.

“I’m not sure what more Notre Dame can show him, at this point. But both sides will certainly hope to meet this weekend, and talk about any sort of doubt he’s having. Hopefully they can clear it up.

Frank said Anzalone has a good idea of where he would fit in at Notre Dame based on the Irish recruiting pitch.

“He knows everything about the program, and his playing time, knows where he fits at his position,” Frank said. “He gets the academic value here, and he knows the social side of things. So I’m just not sure what the real issue is, or why it would be an issue. I don’t think we’ll know for sure what he’s going to do after he meets with the coaches this weekend.”

The home contest against BYU comes on the heels of a Stanford weekend that went very positively for the Irish recruiting staff. Notre Dame hosted two USC commitments in safety Max Redfield and cornerback Chris Hawkins, and Frank said both players – Redfield and Hawkins are ranked in the top half of the ESPN150 – came away impressed with the game atmosphere in South Bend.

“I think [Redfield] – and Chris Hawkins – just felt like they really fit in well here,” Frank said. “They got along well with the players, and they got along well with the coaching staff. I think [Redfield] really loved the fan support. Here was a game where it was raining for four hours and the fans were on their feet going crazy when it was miserable outside. A lot of Irish fans don’t realize how important that is to a recruit.”

The lone listed 2013 uncommitted recruit on campus to see the BYU game is running back Tarean Folston from Cocoa, Fla. Frank said Folston, who is listed as an athlete by ESPN, would team with 2013 commit Jamel James and current Irish back Amir Carlisle to create a well-rounded future running back corps.

“It is clearly obvious that they love Tarean Folston,” Frank said, “He plays at a very high level in the state of Florida, and he just dominates. Jamel James is more of an Earl Campbell-type back, just a physical runner, but Folston is a guy who can hit the home run and make the big play. He’s a threat on every play.

“There’s just no way you can pass up on Tarean Folston. He’s too good of a player. Notre Dame wants him in the fold.”

For more on Notre Dame recruiting, check out Mike Frank’s irishsportsdaily.com. Email Mike at
mikefrank18@sbcglobal.net and tell him The Observer sent you.