Folston Talks Panthers

Cold weather isn't a deterring factor for James Folston Jr. coming to Pitt. In fact, he says he enjoys the cold weather, and looks forward to playing in it, amongst other things.

James Folston Jr. says he didn't know heading into the weekend that he'd be committing to the Pittsburgh Panthers. Once he got here for his visit though, it was pretty easy to decide.

"I didn't know before the trip, I came on the unofficial and didn't get a good look at it," Folston said. "This time, I got everything as far as the facility tour and the academics, stuff like that."

You would also think a prospect coming from the warm and sunny weather of Cocoa, Florida might be turned off by snow and sub-freezing temperatures. Not for Folston.

"No, snow doesn't bother me," Folston said. "In fact, I like snow. When you're playing, you don't even think about the weather."

Pitt in recent years has been no stranger to players from Florida. Linebacker Shane Gordon is a Florida native. Former defensive ends Jabaal Sheard and Greg Romeus are also Florida natives. Folston says he didn't follow their careers, but there is one prominent former Panther he did follow.

"I just kind of look up to Larry Fitzgerald," Folston said. "He's a pretty good person. He always shows respect, shows respect to the fans. He's one of the most respectful players. His (jersey) number is 11, and that's why I wear 11."

The bigger official visit for Pitt, in terms of numbers, was last weekend with four-stars Shai McKenzie and Jamil Kamara on campus. While Folston didn't have the same itinerary as they did (basketball game, Dave and Busters), Folston said his host Shakir Soto did a good job showing him around. His official visit was capped off by a trip to the Grand Concourse restaurant on Pittsburgh's Station Square. Folston said all the Pitt coaches were there on Sunday, to see him off.

"Shakir did a great job showing me around," Folston said. "They take you out to dinner a lot--that's for sure. I don't even remember the names of the places. It was really nice on Sunday. All the coaches, even Coach Chryst was there to see me before I left. It was a great visit."

Folston's chief recruiter was defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield.

As a senior, Folston led his team with 107 tackles and two sacks. He joins St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Wade Freebeck as the other commit out of the state of Florida.

He is the son of former linebacker James Folston who spent eight years in the NFL. Folston was a second-round draft pick of the then Los Angeles Raiders where he played five seasons (1994-98). He spent three more years with the Arizona Cardinals (1999-2001).

His brother Tarean Folston is a running back for Notre Dame, where he rushed for 397 yards and two touchdowns this past season.

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