Cards: Topps AAF 2019 Certified, Topps AAF, Sage 2017
Acquired: 2019, Ebay. 2020, Houston Roughnecks/ Tampa Vipers Joint Practice
Tarean Folston was a runningback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from 2014-2017. Over his 4 years he ran for 1,712 yards on 343 carries, scoring 11 TDs. Although seldom called upon, he caught 31 passes for 294 yards and a TD. He was not selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, but stayed in playing shape.
Keeping his dream alive, Folston joined the fledgling Alliance of American Football. He’d be assigned to the Atlanta Legends. The Legends were a snakebitten franchise when it came to their coaching staff, but Folston remained a constant in the backfield for Atlanta. He’d finish as the franchise’s leading rusher with 223 yards on 53 carries, scoring a TD. Tarean also showed some vision and hands catching 26 passes for 163 yards and 2 TDs.
After the league folded, Tarean joined the Tampa Bay Vipers of the new XFL in 2020. I attended the open practice between the two teams, and was fortunate enough to get Folston’s autograph on these 2 cards of his. Folston had switched numbers with another player, but recognizing De’Veon Smith, he called Folston over for me- because they loved the fact I was a true fan of the AAF. Tarean still has his trademark dreds, that he told me took 5 years to grow out to such magnificence.
I was lucky enough to watch most of the last half of the AAF season on their app, before they shuddered it in early 2020. I always had a soft spot for the Legends, and studied the team’s offensive woes, but was shocked to see Tarean back there pounding the rock out with authority for Atlanta like a poor man’s Joseph Addai. He quickly became my favorite player on the team.