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Pitt Lands Florida Linebacker

Monday, December 16, 2013 11:51am
By: Carlos Collazo

James Folston Jr., a two-star player out of Florida, committed to Pittsburgh over the weekend. The 6-3, 200-pound linebacker becomes Paul Chryst's 20th recruit in the 2014 class.

Folston had already taken an unofficial visit to the school, but was able to get a much better tour of the campus and facilities when he took an official visit this past weekend. Folston's experience was good enough for him to commit to the school on Saturday night. 

 "Shakir did a great job showing me around," Folston told PantherDigest.com. "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 also said that the weather in Pitt wasn't a setback because, "When you're playing, you don't even think about the weather."

With Folston's commitment to Pitt, he became the fourth member of his immediate family to become a college athlete. His father, James Folston Sr., played football for Louisiana-Monroe and went on to have a nine-year NFL career with the Raiders and Cardinals.

His brother Tarean is a running back for Notre Dame and his sister, Jazzmine, signed a play track & field scholarshiop for TCU in February of this year. 

With a family of athletes, Folston was able to get the instruction he needed over the summer to bulk up and land an offer from the Panthers. His high school coach, John Wilkinson, talked about the amount of work Folston put in over the summer:

"He played free safety in the spring and looked good, but he had a tremendous summer," Wilkinson said. "He was in the weight room every day, and worked out with his dad a lot and put on about 20 or 25 pounds of muscle."

Wilkinson said that Folston played at 170 pounds in 2012 and was primarily a receiver.

However for Pitt, it seems that Folston will be playing linebacker. He is just the second linebacker in the Panthers' 2014 class, and led his team with 107 tackles and two sacks during his senior season.