Tech leads for Stephon Tuitt, but Dogs fighting for big D-end

A Q&A WITH STEPHON TUITT:

Monroe Area’s Stephon Tuitt lives 43 miles from Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium and 28 miles from Georgia’s Sanford Stadium. And like you’d expect of an elite prospect growing up in such close proximity to two major football programs, both schools are pulling hard in a tug-of-war for his services. At the moment, the handkerchief is on the side of the Yellow Jackets, who Tuitt named this week as his clear leader. But the Bulldogs haven’t given up and they’re pulling back hard. And several other schools are still battling to get in the game with the defensive end who has the perfect frame for the 3-4 defense so many teams are going to. I caught up with Tuitt, a rising senior, and one of the top 10-rated recruits in the state, after an afternoon workout with the Purple Hurricanes earlier this week. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: First tell me about Georgia Tech. I’ve heard you may be on the verge of committing to them?

A: “Being committed to Georgia Tech is not really the case; I don’t have a decision right now. But I can say I like the school at Georgia Tech. It’s a great school and there are many opportunities that you get by going to that school. That’s one of the reasons why I like Georgia Tech a lot. I’m thinking about committing there. I have a decision but I don’t know if my decision is 100 percent sure.”

Q: I understand you’ve been to Georgia Tech a bunch of times, including recently.

A: “I’ve been there at least four or five times. I went over there Friday of last week. We were out of school and I had the day off and they invited me to come over there. I went over there with my teammate, Darius Whitehead. He’s a sophomore defensive end. I went over there with him. They showed him around the school. But I went over there just to catch back up with the coaches and build my relationship with them and learn more about the program.”

Q: Your coach [Matt Fligg] tells me you’re a good student. Are you interested in some type of engineering specifically?

A: “I might have to start off in management because I want to do sports medicine. I talked to the head coach and if I start off in management first and get a degree in that and get to know people in my profession I want to do, then I’ll have another career to go to. I could have two degrees and that would be better for me.”

Q:I know you have 10 scholarship offers. Who would you say is competing best with the Yellow Jackets?

A: “I’d say Florida and Georgia. [long pause] And Clemson. I should put Clemson in there, too, because that’s three schools that are heavily recruiting me and I’ve been to their schools a lot. Florida, I went there one time; I went there for a junior day. So I’ve only been there once but I still talk to their coaches over the phone. I talk to Georgia a lot; I go there a lot. Clemson, I’ve been there at least four or five times. And South Carolina.”

Q: I know you live pretty close to UGA. Do you get pressure from the locals about the Bulldogs?

A: “Yeah, I’m about 25 or 30 minutes from there. There’s a lot of pressure to go there. It’s a great school, great football program. They’ve got a great football dynasty there. I have a good relationship with the coaches. Me and Coach [Bryan] McClendon, my recruiter down there, we have a great relationship. And I talk to Todd Grantham, the defensive coordinator there. He’s a great guy, too.”

Q: Coach Fligg was telling me you used to wear Miami Hurricanes clothes to school all the time. But I haven’t heard you mention them in regards to your recruiting. Are they not in it?

A: “I used to be obsessed with Miami. It was my hometown and I was homesick when I first came up here. Coming from Miami, Fla., to here was tough at first. But over time I started looking at other schools and starting realize what they have and things started to change. . . . I have family down there. But I haven’t visited down there. They haven’t written or called me or anything. So . . .”

Q: What’s it like living in Monroe?

A: “From my hometown in Florida, it’s a lot different. But it’s a great spot. I’ve developed some great relationships here with people at the school, got a lot of friends. I have a lot of people supporting me here. I actually enjoy the school. It’s a great environment.”

Q: Both Georgia and Tech are going to that 3-4 defense. Are they wanting you to play outside linebacker?

A: “Not really outside linebacker. They put me down as ‘versatile.’ I can play three positions. At Georgia Tech, I’m a true end. At Georgia, they say I can play three positions: Sam linebacker, Will linebacker and I can play end. They want to utilize my versatility and my speed.”

Q: Speaking of which, I’ve seen you listed at a bunch of different size and weights. What’s accurate?

A: “I’m 6-5, 252. But I’m 16 years old, still a junior in high school. They say I’ll probably make it up to 6-6, 6-6 ½ and make it to 280 [pounds]. That’s probably my max to stay muscular. Coach Grantham compares me to DeMarcus Ware, who was just like me when he came to college. He ate well and worked out well and grew. He weighs like 280, 285, something like that.”

Q: Do you play any offense?

A: “I play tackle but I’m going to play some tight end, too, this next year.”

Q: So what’s next for you as far as the recruiting process?

A: “I’m going to Auburn this weekend. I’d like to go to Georgia for one of their spring practices. I don’t know when I’ll make it there, probably by next week. I’ll probably go to their spring game, too. After that I’ll probably go to some of Tech’s spring practices after they start.”

Q: What is your timeline for making a decision?

A: “Before my senior season. I’d say probably by June.”

170 comments Add your comment

LaylowATLN

March 24th, 2010
8:25 am

Reality

March 24th, 2010
8:33 am

We’d love to have you at Tech. You’d be part of the beginning of a new dynasty – winning the conference and going to BCS bowls and also a chance to compete for the national championship.

Go Jackets!

LaylowATLN

March 24th, 2010
8:34 am

If Stephon Tuitt anything like Demarcus Ware he is going to be a beast. Georgia Tech would be a great fit for him. I love the confidence that he has about him.

Vick=Dog killing thug

March 24th, 2010
8:38 am

Wow. Impressive young man. Good luck with what ever you do but hope you become a dawg!

The Real YellowJacket

March 24th, 2010
8:38 am

Have you noticed that more great recruits are coming to recognize all the benefits of going to GT?
It’s not just about the 4 years. It’s about the rest of your life and career in and out of football.

GT fan

March 24th, 2010
8:38 am

We would love to have you at Tech Stephon. You are the type of player that can take our defense to a high level. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and know what you are looking for. Best of luck to you wherever you decide to go. Love to see you on the flats soon…

What do GT and UG fans have in common?

March 24th, 2010
8:39 am

They both snickered at the part about Georgia having a dynasty.

JB

March 24th, 2010
8:41 am

Come play for a DC that you know will be there for a while and who knows what it takes to be a pro bowler in the NFL.

It would also be nice to play for the team that wins the big rivalry, in state, 90% of the time.

HBTD!!!

Dawgs Fan

March 24th, 2010
8:43 am

Start of a new dynasty? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…………..National Championship? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA……………..Yeah O.K.

Ga Tech Old Timer

March 24th, 2010
8:45 am

What I like about Mr. Tuitt is not only is a gifted athlete but a wise one who is considering his education and future in terms of degrees and what he wants to do with the rest of his life rather than in terms of NFL opportunities and leaving the program early.

Too Easy

March 24th, 2010
8:46 am

Common: 8 out of 9 is a dynasty as far as you’re concerned. Can’t believe you’re calling this recruit ‘dumb’ for believing that.

Dap01

March 24th, 2010
8:48 am

Congratulation Mr. Tuitt, you sound like a great person and player. What a future?

Stay in state, Tech and UGA are great.

I love the Dawgs, go to UGA and play in from of 93,000+ every game. Over 1/2 of a million more fans go to see the Dawgs each year compared to Tech.

Either way, you have a wonderful future!

Too Easy

March 24th, 2010
8:50 am

So, old timer, those tek players who left early for the NFL without their degrees are players you don’t like?

Dawgs Fan

March 24th, 2010
8:51 am

8 out of 9 is better than 1 out of 9

Jacket Backer

March 24th, 2010
8:57 am

we’re starting to get looks from some of the top talent in the state…..that has not always been the case….good sign for Tech…….good time to be a Jacket!!

Fillin' up @ Juniors

March 24th, 2010
9:03 am

I am relativly positive, that stephon is smart enough not to take advice from anyonomous AJC posters.

ps Dynasties have to do with championships not rivalry. Neither schools are Dynasties, but only one of them can start a repeat this year… Go Tech.

ps 8 of 9 is better than 1 of 9 unless you are talking about your chances to get put in jail…

JB

March 24th, 2010
9:07 am

SEC vs ACC……really. Come to Athens and experience excitement, big time big stage football in a great football town and get a good education. Playing Tenn,Fla, Aub, LSU, Bama vs playing Duke,Wake,Virginia,……Think about it……….there’s no comparison.

tenn.DAWG

March 24th, 2010
9:12 am

Follow your heart.I hope it’s at UGA,if not good luck.Tech is not a bad choice if you’re that kind of person,they are different.Just sayin.

JB

March 24th, 2010
9:12 am

8 of 9 chances at Tech to be assaulted,robbed, stabbed,shot, beat up…………..such a lovely place.

BigTimeTECHFan

March 24th, 2010
9:13 am

Stephon, If you read this good luck to you on whatever school you decide on, stay healthy and play hard.

Sound like nice kid – If he goes to Tech I’ll be rooting for him, if decided UGA that’s ok, still wish him luck but I still be pulling for Tech to beat them.

gt4ever

March 24th, 2010
9:13 am

He had better recruit these types, Coach hasn’t proven that he can yet……. It is kinda scary, especially on the offensive side of the ball, I haven’t seen anything spectacular in regards to blue chipper recruits…..

gt4ever

March 24th, 2010
9:15 am

JB, get a grip! That is so LAME!

BigTimeTECHFan

March 24th, 2010
9:18 am

JB – come on that was wrong “Playing Tenn,Fla, Aub, LSU, Bama vs playing Duke,Wake,Virginia”,

1. You state top teams in SEC verses bottom teams in ACC. Be like me saying Va Tech, Clemson, FSU verses Miss St, Vandy, Kentucky
2. UGA does not even play Bama and LSU next year
3. Tech will be playing Bama soon
4. ACC had more ranked teams then SEC

JB

March 24th, 2010
9:25 am

and so true……I hate it for ya’ll…….I wish they would clean up that crime on/near your campus….It is not right. I mean it. These are college kids.

JB

March 24th, 2010
9:29 am

Georgia and Carolina finished 1 & 2 in the ACC this year and they are middle of the pack SEC teams. Tech and Clemson both beaten by the Average SEC teams…..but as coach Johnson said in the AJC after the Georgia loss ” we have bigger goals in mind”……Let’s see, rings one year with the score on it and ” bigger goals in mind” the next……He ought to be in Congress.

Fillin' up @ Juniors

March 24th, 2010
9:38 am

JB “Georgia and Carolina finished 1 & 2 in the ACC this year and they are middle of the pack SEC teams”…Why is this in past-tense as if it happened…this is speculation, you can’t speculate about the past…I think you ment to say Georgia and SOUTH carolina would have finished 1 and 2 and they are middle SEC teams. Buts that a dumb argument, how can we know? Even if I agree with you, its not a valid argument style because it can never be tested. The second half of your post is almost un-readable, what are you trying to say…

As for crime, as much crime happens in and around athens as in and around Tech. The difference, no one cares about athens in atlanta, so its not reported in our news.

Jimbo

March 24th, 2010
9:40 am

Right, there’s no crime in Athens… and particularly not anywhere near campus.

Hope he comes to Tech and gets a far better education, and plays for a team on its way up. Of course, I completely expect you UGA fans to act like you never wanted the guy if he decides not to be a Dawg. Stay classy.

GA Tech Insider

March 24th, 2010
9:45 am

Stephon has a great head on his shoulders besides being a terrific player on the field, and he comes from a supportive family that any program would be proud to have in the stands rooting for the young man; very classy indeed!

One of the most impressive things about Stephon is that he recognizes that there will be life after football at such an early age, even if/when he makes it to the next level, and that his collegiate education will be important to carry him forward beyond his years on the field. Even if Stephon makes millions playing in the NFL, he wants to be sure he knows how to mange his money and continue to be successful the rest of his life. He also wants to be prepared in the event he ends his football career in college and has a chance to become a respected professional in his chosen profession, and compensated accordingly.

Like I said; good head on his shoulders besides being a great athlete, and coming from a terrific family, Stephon will be an asset to any program he chooses to play for, and a success in life.

I wonder?

March 24th, 2010
9:45 am

Chips headlines remind me of the old radio people that used to say anything on the air to anger the listeners. Everyone of his headlines say something negative about UGA recruiting. He does this just to get people to read the article and write on his blog. The more people that write,,,, the better his rating are. I wish just once he would do some honest reporting and stop the Jabs at UGA, just to get people to write here… Opps, it worked, I am writing here, damn, He got me again!

HardTruth Soldier

March 24th, 2010
9:46 am

So Georgia Bound! Only Miami can come in and still this kid. He’ll see the SEC Lights and want them like a fat fan wants a playboy bunny!

Why I want Tech

March 24th, 2010
9:46 am

Just a few reasons that today’s kids desire tech:

1.) They can buzz the football stadium in a Navy Hornet and not recognize the vast dangers involved and be BUSTED and PUMP GAS and be called DUMB and DUMBER and he considered a laughing stock all over the world per CNN,etc. Disgraced as they say. Humiliated is another word for it.
2.) Waffle House execs are tech men ………..so they eat FREE chili for the rest of their lives.
3.) Major in Receation and work for Fulton County or, as an added bonus work in Dekalb County.
4.) Play in the Urange Bowl once every 45 years.
5.) Bad mouth CPH for the rest of your fricking life because you will be stuck with him.

AAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA

Easy choice for most of these kids.

jb's an idiot

March 24th, 2010
9:47 am

all I have to say is UGA played in the Independence Bowl last year hahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahaha

JB

March 24th, 2010
9:48 am

Fillin up…….let me crawl out of my trailer and my break at jiffy lube and tell you in a nutshell.
Your coach allowed the team ( Tech) to have the Score put on their BOWL RINGS, that’s the Georgia score, not the beat down LSU gave you in the Chicken bowl the year before last ,and then this year, when we beat the ACC champs on their field, he shrugged it off and said Tech had bigger fish to fry. Is that readable enough for you.

Fillin' up @ Juniors

March 24th, 2010
9:48 am

HardTruth: I am assuming still = steal

The Fat fan wants a playboy bunny line was a good one.

Chip Towers

March 24th, 2010
9:52 am

I wonder?: I wonder, too. What is negative about UGA in this headline?

Fillin' up @ Juniors

March 24th, 2010
9:52 am

Much improved JB. What you mean to say is you find his behavior hypocritical, since it seemed to matter so much in 2008 and so little in 2009. An thus the coach can’t be trusted, thus we should send him to congress, which is in fact what we seem to do these days. Now that you have clarified I am not sure what your point is about Coach Johnson or Tech football, but we agree on the congress part.

JB

March 24th, 2010
9:54 am

I apologize about Comparing Coach Johnson to Congress.

Chip Towers

March 24th, 2010
9:57 am

BigTimeTECHFan, Fillin’ up @ Juniors: You both bring up good points. Everyone on the blog should know that these kids do in fact read what everybody is saying in here. I think they’re all levelheaded enough to know not to pay any attention to it, especially the sophomoric exchanges. But I can assure you they’re reading what you say. Perhaps knowing that will tone down some of the vitriol. I can only hope.

JB

March 24th, 2010
9:59 am

Tech should have played in the Independence Bowl last year…..39 yards of offense in the first half. Really. The number one rushing team in Div. 1. Pretty good football played in Iowa I would say.

JB

March 24th, 2010
10:05 am

Chip, you are correct about sophomoric exchanges. ( I’m raising my hand) but by addressing the two tech posters, you make it sound like the UGA people start it. I never start until I see them get on here and start the Trailer trash, working the drive in window, arrest stuff etc.
I think they have their share of arrest, probation and Alums working luggage at Air Tran.

GT Student

March 24th, 2010
10:17 am

Don’t come to Tech Stephon….that is if you are interested in any of the following things – fun, safety, girls, relevant football. I personally hate football (kinda like b-ball) and generally, in fact, do eat my boogers.

Fillin' up @ Juniors

March 24th, 2010
10:21 am

I have to say JB and I’s exchange is one the the mildest exchanges between Techies and Dawgies I have ever seen…Kind of weird that you would single it out. Seriously we ended up attacking Congress more than each other. Nothing has been said bad about Stephon, nor should it. Just common rivalry bashing…thats why we call it Good Old Fashion hatred. I Bash JB, He bashes me, then we bash Congress together, and eventually its Baseball season and we use our highly evolved bashing skills to go after the Freaking Mets…who are super lame.

brick

March 24th, 2010
10:22 am

Tech is on the way up? How does someone come up with that? Tech was an average team in a poor conference and benefited from that. Not a single BCS conference they could compete for except the ACC in 09, when the weak ACC was down for them. If the kid feels Tech is the place for him then that’s where he needs to go, but if he wants to compete against the best he needs to stay away from the ACC, not just Tech.

GOGATOR

March 24th, 2010
10:36 am

RambleOn84

March 24th, 2010
10:37 am

The reason Tech fans are excited about the future is because our coach won us a conference championship in only his second year, with a woefully overmatched roster (especially on the lines). We had one of the worst defenses (yards per play) in the nation, yet won 11 games, beating some pretty good teams along the way (VT, UNC, Clemson twice).

Long story short, Tech has OVERachieved for two straight years, despite switching to a brand new offense (that most people thought would never work anyway) with sub-par talent.

We can only imagine how much better our team will get with a good DC and players (particularly linemen) that Johnson picks for his offense.

Chip Towers

March 24th, 2010
10:38 am

Fillin’ up @ Juniors: You missed my point entirely. I was not referring to your exchange with JB or anyone else. I was seconding your point that these young men read these posts and comments.

Matthews Dawg

March 24th, 2010
10:41 am

Chip, why did you say that these kids read these blogs? That is going to cause more idiots to write irrelevant, asinine blogs! I would love to see this young man go to UGA, but I would rather him stay in state and go to Tech instead of Bama, UF, UT, Clemson, USC, etc… I can live with a kid choosing one in-state school over another. I really hate it when they go outside of our state. Good luck to young man and he will get a GREAT education at either school.

Fillin' up @ Juniors

March 24th, 2010
10:42 am

Brick answer me this, Does the Tech team of the last two seasons look better against UGA then the tech teams of the 0-8 strech? If the answer is yes then you get your answer to “Tech is on the way up? How does someone come up with that”?

A recruit of Stephons level in the past would walk on the Tech team as a freshman and play, if we can string together another defensive class like last year, we might be able to redshirt players of stephon’s calibor. Another sign of a rising program, being able to redshirt elite talent. Something that in the past we couldn’t do, that atleast now we have a glimmer of a chance at…

Lastly, Seriously you are going to lump the Big East ahead of the ACC. Really…come on now…

Marianela

March 24th, 2010
10:42 am

At Tech, he’ll be a student-athlete earning a real degree.

At UGA, he’ll be enrolled in some silly useless joke of a degree.

What’s to compare?

Fillin' up @ Juniors

March 24th, 2010
10:44 am

Sorry Chip, must have been the location of your post, made it seem as though you were talking about JB and I. My bad. However we can all agree that the Mets suck right? Just in general, they stink…real bad.