January 19, 2011 // Recruiting

Notre Dame Loses Stephon Tuitt

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January has been full of excellent news for Notre Dame on and off the field, but Tuesday the Irish received a dose of bad news when 5-star defensive end Stephon Tuitt decommitted from Notre Dame in favor of Georgia Tech.

Notre Dame lost 5-star defensive end Stephon Tuitt to Georgia Tech on Tuesday. (Photo - Icon SMI)

Tuitt, a Georgia native, visited Georgia Tech over the weekend and after a few days of thought, he decided to decommit from Notre Dame and switch his commitment to Tech delivering a major blow to Notre Dame’s 2011 recruiting class in the process.

Tuitt had previously visiting Auburn as well but eliminated the Tigers shortly after the visit.  He had previously taken almost half a dozen unofficial visits to Georgia Tech as well and had said that another school would need to blow him away to get him to reconsider.  Unfortunately for Notre Dame, Georgia Tech was able to do just that this past weekend.

Without Tuitt, Notre Dame still has an impressive haul along the defensive line with Aaron Lynch, Chase Hounshell, Brad Carrico, and Tony Springmann.  Tuitt, however, is the kind of elite talent Notre Dame has struggled to reel in for years.  Even when the Irish have been able to secure commitments from recruits like Tuitt, or say Omar Hunter a few years ago, they have had a hard time holding on to them.

The lone exception over the last few years was Lynch, who enrolled at Notre Dame on Tuesday after decommiting from Notre Dame in November and then recommitting over the weekend.

Verbal commitments, as everyone well knows, are not binding and Brian Kelly and the Irish staff will almost certainly do their best to bring Tuitt back into the fold by Signing Day.  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, however, Tuitt does not plan on speaking to coaches from any other teams now that he is committed to Georgia Tech.

Look for Notre Dame to make a hard push for Troy Niklas if they are unable flip Tuitt back to Notre Dame the way they were able to flip Lynch back last week.  Niklas is a similar recruit to Chase Hounshell – a versatile lineman who could play along the offensive or defensive line.  He will visit Notre Dame on January 28.

With only a handful of scholarships left in this year’s class look for the Irish staff to also burn up the phone lines shoring up the commitments from the 17 recruits who are still committed and did not enroll early on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s news was certainly a blow for Notre Dame’s recruiting class, but it appears as though the Irish staff was well prepared for the possibility of losing Tuitt with four other defensive ends committed and other options they are still pursuing – a welcomed change from years past when Notre Dame was left high and dry when recruits have made last minute decommitments.

Comments to this Article

  • Patrick commented on January 19th, 2011 at 12:21 am

    I’m not worried. I wish Tuitt the best at GT. I’m happy with who we already have in the fold.

    [Reply]

  • EchoesAwakened commented on January 19th, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Good luck to tuitt unless of course nd plays tech lol. I think in the long run he will realize that not coming to nd was a mistake but I truly do wish him the best of luck. I’ve heard he is a great kid on and off the field.

    [Reply]

    Ronnie replied on January 19th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Yes Tuitt is a good player.But he has a mind of his own he dos what he wants to do I hope he will come back to ND too.

    [Reply]

  • Texas Irish commented on January 19th, 2011 at 2:32 am

    I wish this kid the best of luck. At the Army game when they had all 3 Irish players and I believe they said “we are the Irish” or something like that you can tell that of the 3 he was the least estatic to say it. I hope we can sway him back but understand him being far from home and plus his bf is a GT. Good luck Tuit. It was nice having you the time we did.
    GO IRISH!!!!

    [Reply]

    Texas Irish replied on January 19th, 2011 at 4:24 am

    The US Army All American game not the vs Army game in NYC.

    [Reply]

  • Alex commented on January 19th, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Oh well. No need for someone who doesn’t want to be with us. Good riddance.

    [Reply]

  • FXM commented on January 19th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I am thankful that he contributed to the recruiting class momentum. I think that the decision that is based completely on staying close to home with little chance of playing in a big game is regrettable for a young guy. Unless his family really needs him. Good luck.

    [Reply]

  • DublinOHIrish commented on January 19th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    It hurts to lose a kid like Tuitt, but I understand how the pressure of staying close to home with family and friends would be hard to overcome. We still have a great class of kids that WANT to be in South Bend. Kelly was able to get a kid from Florida to leave and early enroll at ND with a foot of snow on the ground. He was able to take a kid from the east coast from schools a few hours away and early enroll. We still have a great shot at Niklas, California kid looking at Stanford and USC and Huggins looking at his in-state school, Rutgers. Guess we can’t win them all.

    I can’t wait until signing day!

    [Reply]

  • Chris commented on January 19th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    This one really hurts.
    Tuitt has been with us for soooo long that I thought he was serious after the way he played with other recruits at the AAA game. He, Lynch & others just dominated the West team. Judging by the way our defense played to end the season, these guys would form an incredible defensive line in the hear future.
    However, my heart is broken again.
    I think the peer pressure to stay close to home is just to much to overcome. I wish Tuitt good luck in his future.

    If I have just one advice: I hope Tuitt would “think out-side the box”.

    [Reply]

  • Jim commented on January 19th, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I am also amazed at how forward-thinking our coaches are, re all the things that could happen with particular recruits.

    I remember Weis’ second year recruiting, when he thought all these 5-star kids would beg to play for him, and they all ended up jilting him at the altar.

    He was totally unprepared with a backup plan.

    [Reply]

  • joeyknucklehead commented on January 19th, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    It’s never good to lose the potential talent of Tuitt. But just picturing Floyd, Ishaq Williams & Aaron Lynch already in class at ND puts me on Cloud 9 anticipating the season.

    [Reply]

  • IrishChan commented on January 19th, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I’m with many of you. I would have really liked to see this kid suiting up for us next year but I understand wanting to stay closer to home. Besides, if he choose Ga. Tech, he must have grown up being a fan of them. Who wouldn’t want to play for “their” team! I wish him the best…

    Plus, we’ve pulled in one hell of a class this year! I CANNOT wait to watch this defense let loose in the coming years.

    [Reply]

  • Cav commented on January 19th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    This decision by Tuitt reminds me a lot of the A. Benn situation a few years ago. He was a “silent” verbal to ND, then decided to go to Illinois. Had a decent career, but look at some of the receivers at ND over the same time frame. He could have a national star, but was a relative unknown at Illinois. He did get drafted, but again, I think he would have been a superstar at ND.

    I think the same thing will happen with Tuitt. He will probably have a nice career and end up getting drafted, but he will not have near the exposure he would have had at ND.

    I think this defense is going to be pretty good over the next few years and it will be Lynch and Williams that will benefit, not Tuitt. I glad he waited until after Lynch and Williams were enrolled because we might have lost them as well.

    [Reply]

  • somecallmeandrew commented on January 19th, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    ….annnd, Tuitt is Irish again according to several places.

    [Reply]

  • Kevin commented on January 19th, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Tuitt Recommitted!!!!

    [Reply]

    Deacon replied on January 20th, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Link please?

    [Reply]

  • Texas Irish commented on January 20th, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Is he back????? Please say it’s true????
    GO IRISH!!!!!

    [Reply]

  • Georgia Irish commented on January 20th, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Stephon, Do reconsider all the nonathletic strengths of a university before signing on the dotted line.

    [Reply]

  • cl commented on January 21st, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    What happended !
    He’s back. I can’t believe it.
    This is amazing.

    [Reply]

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