January 20, 2011 // Recruiting

Stephon Tuitt Back in the Fold for Notre Dame

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A little over 24 hours after 5-star recruit Stephon Tuitt switched his verbal commitment from Notre Dame to Georgia Tech, the bruising defensive end flipped again – this time back to Notre Dame and once again filling out arguably the nation’s best defensive line class.

Stephon Tuitt recommitted to Notre Dame on Wednesday just a day after switching his commitment to Georgia Tech. (Photo - Icon SMI)

Wow.  Nothing should come as a surprise with the way this recruiting class has come together, but Tuitt’s reversal, this quickly after committing to Georgia Tech, was anything but expected.

With the defensive class Notre Dame has assembled, the Irish could have survived the loss of Tuitt; but with Tuitt back in the fold, this defensive class is elevated back into elite status.  Notre Dame has two 5-star recruits once again with Tuitt and Ishaq Williams and another, Aaron Lynch, who really ought to be a 5-star recruit as well.

Tuitt’s 180 marks the second time in two weeks that Brian Kelly and staff have been able flip a recruit back to Notre Dame who previously decommitted – Aaron Lynch being the other.

Give major credit to the Notre Dame staff here.  Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune tweeted that Brian Kelly, Bob Diaco, Chuck Martin, and Mike Elston all made the trip to Georgia to visit Tuitt and ended up leaving with the prized defensive recruit back in the class of 2011 for the Fighting Irish.

Combine Tuitt’s recommitment with the recruiting job done by Bob Diaco to secure Ishaq Williams’s commitment last week and it’s hard to be anything but extremely impressed with the job this staff has done since the Sun Bowl.

Consider the luck, or lack there of, Notre Dame has had with losing elite defensive linemen over the last few years such as Omar Hunter, Justin Trattou, and Chris Martin, and it makes tonight’s news even more unbelievable. It’s almost as if Notre Dame is exercising the demons of CJ Leak, Lorenzo Book, Hunter, et all all in one fell swoop this January.

Comments to this Article

  • Matt commented on January 20th, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Welcome Back!


  • ted commented on January 20th, 2011 at 12:44 am

    great! welcome back!

    wake me up on signing day


  • DocBinge79 commented on January 20th, 2011 at 12:46 am

    This is something else. I ran into Chuck Martin at O’Hare about a month ago (literally) and he is really an outstanding person. I can see why these people can not say no to him and to the rest of our staff.

    Stephon made a very smart move. Welcome back.

    (So much for his high school coach keeping anyone but Georgia Tech coaches away from him.)


    roy arnn replied on January 20th, 2011 at 7:04 am

    Dear Mr. Tuitt,

    I know you’ve just made the wisest/most intelligent decision of your life.
    As our former coach, Lou Holtz, said, Notre Dame is “not just a four-year experience,it’s a forty-year experience.” And then some…
    I’m both an alumnus and monogram winner, and can’t even begin to explain how my life has been enriched by my Notre Dame experience. I’m forever blessed, as is my son, also a Notre Dame graduate.

    So, Mr. Tuitt, welcome to our family. I’m sure that you’ll make us proud, and you’ll be proud of us.



  • EchoesAwakened commented on January 20th, 2011 at 12:48 am

    This is incredible. what a crazy recruiting season this has been. welcome back tuitt to the best front seven class in the country!


  • Ed Brazas commented on January 20th, 2011 at 12:52 am

    No wonder coaches go nuts.I will believe it on signing day. However, hats off to Kelly and his staff. The next few years are going to be a blast!!!!


  • Texas Irish commented on January 20th, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I knew you would be back Tuitt. Lol. You made my day. I can’t wait till the fans scream TUITTT when you demolish rb’s and qb’s.
    GO IRISH!!!


  • CharliehatesU$C commented on January 20th, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I am so excited to have this guy back….the past 24 hours i have been doing damage control in my head, and as much as i like tony springman, its not the same thing. Welcome back amigo


  • Art Vandelay commented on January 20th, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Unbelieveable! Flipping 5 star recruits; stealing prospects from the likes of Florida, UNC, and Wisconsin; not only has Kelly, Diaco, and company proven they can recruit with the big boys, they’re quickly becoming one themselves.

    The future’s looking bright! GO IRISH!


  • IrishChan commented on January 20th, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Uncle! Can we just fast forward to signing day….. Please! Lol this is crazy.

    We are going to have one he’ll of front seven for the next couple of years!

    Goooooo IRISH!


  • Dave commented on January 20th, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I almost did a double take as I read Tuitt re-commit’s. This is great news for ND, like the article said we could have survived his departure but this is icing in the cake.


  • Lou commented on January 20th, 2011 at 3:27 am

    This is awesome, with the recent history of last minute flips by ND recruits, they were due for payback in a very big way. What’s even more amazing is that this staff has been a step ahead of everything that has happened recruiting wise, they lose Hayes and within days they gain Cam and his teammate. People thought they were crazy when they kept recruiting DE’s even when they already has four in the fold, yet even if we lose L


  • spiceyirish commented on January 20th, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I’ve been following ND recruiting for about 12 years. This is by far (and I mean by far) the most bizarre recruiting season in my memory.


  • Loweeks commented on January 20th, 2011 at 4:34 am

    Will Ishaq Williams end up playing OLB? There are so many elite D ends that Notre Dame is bringing in, it almost seems with all of this talent the Irish have got committed, will they try getting all of these guys on the field together? It seems like a nice “problem” to have.


    EchoesAwakened replied on January 20th, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I’m pretty sure ishaq was recruited for olb and tuitt and lynch will play DE


    FXM replied on January 20th, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Tuitt will probably bulk up to the point he goes into the middle. The fast 290 lb. nose that Diaco desires.


    Patrick replied on January 20th, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Ishaq was recruited as an OLB from day 1, as were Rabassa and Councell. All 3 of those guys lack ideal size for ND’s version of the 3-4. In our 3-4, you want a huge bull of a NT (think Ian, Nix), long heavy DEs (Tuitt, Lynch, Kona, KLM), tall fast OLBs (Councell, Williams, etc.), and stong instinctual ILBs (Teo, Grace, etc.).


  • Chuck commented on January 20th, 2011 at 6:05 am

    This sounds more like winning is all, even at the expense of commitment. Just grab at any and all advantage gimmicks available any moment…hopefully that is not the lesson in all this.


    FXM replied on January 20th, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I think the lesson here is these kids are young and fickle and the bigger lesson here is that BK works harder than any ND coach since Holtz and hard work pays off.


    ted replied on January 20th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    i’m not comfortable saying bk works any more or less hard than charlie. i bet they put in comparable hours. the difference is how they work.

    charlie was an x’s and o’s guy, and he meticulously game-planned for each game, but without head coaching experience, he was unable to step-back and game-plan recruiting, defense, special teams, pr etc., he lacked ‘big picture’ focus. charlie only cared about wins and losses, bk constantly preached improvement, even if we had to take a step back to get there. any sport that takes skill requires regression before progression.

    bk probably works more efficiently than any coach we have seen since weis. instead of targeting every 5 star guy out there, he targeted the positions we needed the most and the guys who are the most likely to come. it has shown.


    ted replied on January 20th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    oops, more efficiently than any coach since LOU of course!

  • Bill commented on January 20th, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Come on signing day!! No matter what happens, this has been one of the most exciting recruiting years I can remember! Way to go BK and the rest of the coaching staff,now thats what I call hustle,a 4:30 a.m. visit,4 coaches flying to Georgia to flip a recruit back to us in 24hrs. AWESOME!!!


  • Doug commented on January 20th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Huge Irish fan, family is a 45-year season ticket holder. I was a big Weis supporter and believe me with my back it was a big load.
    I hated when ND fired Weis, but said all along if Weis had to go, Kelly was the best guy to replace him.
    All that said, while Weis said we’ll get around to defense when I get around to it….wait for it….
    Yep Kelly finally got a round Tuitt. LOL

    LET’S GO IRISH!!!!


  • Brian commented on January 20th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    As they say in sales ABC….Always Be Closing! And that is what Kelly is a CLOSER! Have a cup of jobba on me Kelly cause COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS!


  • Jack Kelley commented on January 20th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Smart move Mr. Tuitt, Very smart. with notre dame national tv exposure , you made a wise move. I guarantee after you leave ND, you will look back as one of the best moves in your career. And a degree from ND is going to be a corner stone of your life, sure your parents are proud.


  • DublinOHIrish commented on January 20th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Welcome Stephon!! You are now ND!!


  • Alex commented on January 20th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    You guys should read the article on ajc.com. They are killing this kid and killing us claiming we are paying his mother.. What a mess and no wonder he left Tech..


  • Alex commented on January 20th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    By they I mean people who commented on the article/blog


    Texas Irish replied on January 20th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    @Alex- I checked it out and boy them guys are brutal. I know some of are guys said ugly stuff but nothing on the level that them guys are saying. Regardless the kid made the BEST decision to go to ND. WE ARE NOTRE DAME!!!

    GO IRISH!!!


    nathanmarshall replied on January 20th, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Man those guys are butt hurt for sure.


  • TR55 commented on January 20th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Notre Dame has put togather potenially there best Defensive class in along time the kind of depth in the 3 down linemaen could be impressive. Louis Nix,Sean Cwynar and Hafis Williams moving back to his more natural NT postion. Ian Johnson and Kapron Lewis-Moore really came on the second half the season I think you can pencil Lynch and Tuitt as there back ups. Darius Fleming and Prince Shembo outside backed up by the very underated Steve Filer as well as Shaq Williams alot of talent there. Also look out for alot of freshman to play in the secondary esp at corner Props to the coaches.


  • Chris commented on January 20th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    WOW !!!
    First off, I want to congrat Tuitt for comming back. Thank you for overcoming the “peer pressure” from friends & others of having them wanting you to go somewhere. Sometimes, you just have to go out and “explore” and see what’s it is like to be making your own decision and living on your own. When football is done one day, you will realize that you have made a good decision.

    This has to be the best defensive line class in the last 20 years. I think Tuitt is built perfect for our 3-4 defense. Our defense is headed the right direction to end the season and is starting to shut teams down. This defense will be scary good in a “very short time”.


  • joey d commented on January 20th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    This is going to be very exciting! I just hope I live long enough to see these kids play together!!!!!


  • Robbie commented on August 22nd, 2012 at 10:03 am

    By Mark G. February 2, 2012 – 11:04 amRecruits do follow viiocrtes, though whether the team won the particular game they attended seems to have little impact on their decisions. It is more about the atmosphere, the players and the coaches (and the babes working as athletic department ambassadors if you are at a SEC school). Moreover, they follow trends, and while we all think, or at leat hope, we can see improvements under Kelly from year 1 to year 2, that positive trend (whether it is real or in our heads) is not as obvious to the recruits.The disappointment to me is not getting another cornerback or two, more so than missing out at WR. (Daniels will be coming on-line at WR, which brings good size, great speed and apparently very good skill.) At CB, however, we essentially have only Shepard coming in behind and to compete with Lo Wood and Bennett Jackson. Jackson has the speed and size but is relatively new to the position. Unless one of the many safeties we have on the roster can cover like a CB, which is a stretch, we simply have a hole in our otherwise very good defense. And with an offense that is likely to continue to be inconsistent unless and until one of the QBs breaks out and takes over, we will need a stout defense more than ever. Here’s hoping that Kerry Cooks with help from Bob Elliott can coach up Wood, Jackson and Shepard, and those three stay healthy.Thumbs Up/Down: 1 0


  • SteelFanRob commented on August 22nd, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Am I missing something? Tee Shepard is back at ND? I don’t think so.


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