Rutgers tight end commit Anthony Folkerts packed on nearly 60 pounds since starting as a freshman for Valdosta (Ga.) Valwood. Approaching 240 pounds at 6-foot-5, Folkerts has the chance for a big future in the Big Ten, his coach said.
"He's very versatile," said Valwood head coach Ashley Henderson. "He does a lot of different things for us. He's been a three-year starter at two positions for us. I don't think he's even scratched his potential yet because he's still learning. His best football is, for sure, in front of him. He can go really well for a big guy. He's very athletic, and best of all – he's just a winner. He loves to win."
Folkerts projects to be in the 250-pound range when he enrolls in college next summer. He does not plan on early enrollment.
"The last couple of years, he probably played at about 210, 215 and he's just gotten a lot bigger," Henderson said. "He's growing ever year, and growing in a good way. He's putting on good weight. He's not getting fat. He's got' an A-plus work ethic and he runs the whole game. He loves it – conditioning and strength training."
Valwood runs a spread-style offense, which uses Folkerts in multiple ways. He caught 23 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown as a junior to go along with 10.5 tackles and 1.5 sacks defensively.
"He plays good in space, and he's a good blocker out wide," Henderson said. "He catches anything within his range on his wingspan – that's pretty big as well. He understands coverages and where to get open and how to make a catch in a tight space."
Playing with his hand in the dirt, and in a traditional pro-style scheme will be an adjustment.
"We don't do it much, but when we ask him to, he does it really well," Henderson said. "We usually put Anthony out wide. We do some different things with him split out wide or has a hand down. We even put him in the backfield in our diamond set. We do a lot of things with him, and he's a personnel nightmare where we are."
"Coach Campanile did an awesome job getting to know Anthony and Anthony has really close family up there," Henderson said. "… He's liked them from the jump, and he really liked Central Florida as well. I'm not really sure what swung him, but he was very serious about Rutgers the whole time. They were in very early and established a relationship with him. They really like what they saw at the school and how they do things."