Georgia Tech no longer clear-cut No. 1 for Stephon Tuitt

Monroe Area's Stephon Tuitt (in white) plans to take a few trips before making his college decision. (Special photo)

Monroe Area's Stephon Tuitt (in white) plans to take a few trips before making his college decision. (Special photo)

Those who want to go ahead and write in Stephon Tuitt as a done deal for Georgia Tech would be well-advised to do so in pencil at this point.

The four-star defensive end from Monroe still likes the Yellow Jackets just as he always has. But he no longer identifies them as his clear-cut favorite as he once did.

Of his top five of Tech, Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame and Miami, Tuitt said Tuesday night, “there’s really no order. They’re all even right now.”

And they may not be a solid five. Tuitt said he’s starting to think he may visit Florida instead of Miami. And he hasn’t completely shut the door on Georgia.

“I still have an eye cast toward Athens; I haven’t given up on them,” said Tuitt, who Rivals.com ranks the 22nd-ranked prospect in the country. “Georgia’s not off my mind.”

About the only thing that is certain with regard to Tuitt’s recruitment at this point is the first official visit he plans to take. He’s set to travel to South Bend, Ind., on Sept. 10 and attend the Notre Dame-Michigan game the next day.

Other than that, he said he may take an official to Florida, Miami or Kentucky or some other faraway place that interests him. Otherwise, he said, he’ll make unofficial visits to the other finalists, including Tech.

“Georgia Tech is still a wonderful school and a great football program,” Tuitt said. “It’s a great place to graduate from and I could see myself going there. But I want to go out and see some other places and make sure I know what I’m looking for.”

Lately, Tuitt seems to favor the place he has last seen. He spoke glowingly of Clemson after accompanying a basketball teammate on an impromptu trip this past weekend. Monroe Area’s Ken Jackson was invited to an elite prospect basketball camp up there Saturday and Tuitt tagged along — unannounced.

“It was a sneak-up visit,” Tuitt said with a laugh. “I tried to go in unnoticed.”

Word spread fairly quickly among the Clemson coaches that Tuitt was in town.

“Coach [Dabo] Swinney was shocked when he saw me,” Tuitt said of the Tigers’ head coach. “I was in the hallway talking to [defensive line coach Dan] Brooks when he came out of his office to go to a meeting. He kind of walked by before he noticed me. He said, ‘what are you doing here?’”

Tuitt said he may make more drop-in visits.

“Actually that’s my first time doing it,” he said. “I just wanted to see their reactions. I just wanted to come in on a regular day and see what things were like.”

The good news for all concerned is Tuitt does not plan to drag out his recruitment. In fact, he said he doubted it would last through the upcoming season.

“I’m not going to wait until national signing day for sure,” he said. “I don’t need that. When I’, sure I know what school I want to go to I’m just going to do it.”

Meanwhile, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound athlete is ultra-focused on the upcoming season. Monroe Area has struggled through back-to-back winless seasons. But between the Purple Hurricanes’ newly-dedicated work ethic and the fact they’re dropping down in classification, Tuitt believes things will be different this season.

“This year we’ve changed everything around,” said Tuitt, who will play tight end in addition to defensive end. “Everybody’s seniors now. We know what to do and how to do it. We did really well in some [7-on-7] passing camps at Georgia and Clemson this summer and everybody’s been going to the weight room every day working hard. We can’t wait to get that first win.”

152 comments Add your comment

Destin Dawg

August 25th, 2010
6:09 am

branden smith

August 25th, 2010
6:13 am

Destin Dawg

August 25th, 2010
6:20 am

Stephon…. Come to UGA.. get coached up by Todd Grantham from the Cowboys.. be part our rejuvenated Junkyard Dawg defense… in State hero… close to friends/family… good education… Parade mag #3 big public schools… “best of both worlds for students.. social scene & big sports atmosphere in Athens”… Go Dawgs !!!

Still@theBAR

August 25th, 2010
6:30 am

Destin Dawg quit with the get drunk and take easy classes sales pitch. What is Parade Mags focus? Is it a TMZ type print mag?

#2 Bama Fan

August 25th, 2010
6:30 am

4th maybe? I like how he shocked the head coach of Clemson by showing up to visit with out
the coaching staff not knowing what is going on!! Good luck to the kid and pick a good school. RTR

RomeDawg

August 25th, 2010
6:58 am

Come to UGA so you can be coached by Grantham, whom Demarcus Ware credits for making him one of the best defensive players in the NFL.

Damon Evans

August 25th, 2010
7:04 am

Anyone know where I can get a good martini?

RambleOn84

August 25th, 2010
7:55 am

Sounds like a great player having a good time on the recruiting trail…there’s a fine line between that and being a prima donna though…

Taco

August 25th, 2010
7:58 am

Grantham is wonderful I am sure of that but don’t get the cart before the horse. You have not seen him coach anything so don’t start selling those tickets yet. Some folks will grasp at straws. Good luck kid and pick the place you want to be with no regrets. Once you commit, no more dating. How about win a high school game first? If he is all that and a bag of chips, he needs a win on his resume……just like Grantham.

Marc

August 25th, 2010
7:59 am

Way to go Chip. Just when things look positive for Tech in recruiting you run this story to deflate things. You’re staying true to form.

1Jacket7

August 25th, 2010
8:07 am

Stephon,
Be smart and go with your heart. Realize that beyond the hype of it all, reality is real. You need to be both successful on the field and in the classroom. The world is a different place these days and you don’t need to be used up by a program that will spit you out with an application to buy season tickets without first preparing you to get a job. In my experience there are a ton of advantages in choosing Tech. A black man with a quality education from the #7 school in the country by US News and World Reports. Georgia Tech Still #1 in Black Engineering Graduates. And they are graduating in other majors that are highly marketable. And we put a lot of players in the NFL also. Good Luck to you and GOD Bless.

Tokyo jacket

August 25th, 2010
8:11 am

Crap! I really thought he would be the shining star of an otherwise mediocre recruiting class. I’m not buying into the hype that CPJ can’t recruit, but it does seem to be his only weakness. If we’re winning 10-12 games a year, I don’t really care if he brings in all 1-stars. Only time will tell.

rduck

August 25th, 2010
8:30 am

Can’t blame the kid for wanting to see different campuses and take his official visits. I just hope he doesn’t get wrapped up in all the hype that goes with these such tours. Stay focused on which school is the best fit for you and can deliver on what you need from it.. football, good education and a solid career to fall back on… I really hope you choose to come to Tech and be a part of building a great program for years to come. Either way, good luck to you young man…

GT Sambo

August 25th, 2010
8:30 am

Poor Chip Towers. Just last night someone was knocking him on these boards for being anti-UGA, now he is anti-Tech too. Come on Chip, there’s still Bama fans, UF fans, and Auburn fans to make angry today, the day is still young.

Maddog

August 25th, 2010
8:31 am

Uh oh. Paul Johnson may pull his scholarship offer.

RambleOn84

August 25th, 2010
8:34 am

Johnson would only pull it if he visited other schools after he already committed here…a commitment is a commitment.

DawginLex

August 25th, 2010
8:34 am

Someone whose blog handle is “still@thebar” talks to someone about stopping with the drunk talk.

Priceless

GT Sambo

August 25th, 2010
8:36 am

Tokyo jacket,
What are you comparing CPJ’s recruiting to. If you are comparing it to UGA, UF, Alabama, and Texas, then yes he isn’t recruiting well. But of course if you think that Tech can ever recruit on that level (no matter who the coach is) then I think you are always going to be disappointed. If you are comparing CPJ to Chan Gailey, then I disagree, I think he’s actually recruiting better than Chan overall. Chan had one good year, 2007, but otherwise he was actually worse than mediocore recruiting. If you disagree, I can post an analysis that I did highlighting our recruiting rankings under Chan and under CPJ.

Destin Dawg

August 25th, 2010
8:37 am

GT = great engineering school for sure… but narrow focus… there’s lots of UGA grads in the the medical profession.. nurses as well as Doctors…. Law includes court reporters, legal secretaries as well as lawyers… education includes school administrators, coaches, counselors, as well as teachers…business majors have lots of opportunities !!! Not everybody wants (or aptitude ) to be an engineer….. Go Dawgs !!!

RambleOn84

August 25th, 2010
8:37 am

I think it’s great he visits other schools before making a commitment. You definitely don’t want him to commit, then come here and be miserable. All these guys need to make the best choices for themselves.

But I just hope he doesn’t get drawn into the spectacle a la James Wilder and others.

kingster

August 25th, 2010
8:39 am

I am a big TECH fan, but this kid is in a different world, the way he is going he is going to pick a fly by night school and end up wishing he would have pick TECH, the thing he may understand is everyone is going to tell him how great he is, but they (other schools) tell almost all the recruits that, go to TECH and get a great education, those fair weather fans up the road (yes UGA) have a short memory, only yesterday they were dogging him for not considering UGA, everyone in Georgia doesn’t have to be a Dawg.Dude get you a great education, a wonderful University, a very good football program and great fans. If UGA was so good, why do they need to have hype things up and say the Dream, do you really need a hype title to have a good football team?

RambleOn84

August 25th, 2010
8:39 am

Destin Dawg’s point illustrates what GT Sambo is saying…

Tech has a very narrow curriculum compared to bigger state schools…it is not for everyone. I want Tuitt to come, but only if he feels it is the best opportunity for him.

The Ring

August 25th, 2010
8:45 am

Al Groh needs to show off his 1972 NFL ring. Man, that will really impresss these kids.

After all, we were told by CPJ that “Al Groh will bring his NFL leadership and his NFL experiences here and that will boost our opportunity to land the 4 and 5 star kids.” Right?? So ……….show em that ring.

Well, um, ah, where ARE these kids? Why are the not flocking in to play for Al Groh???

Recruiting season is getting long in the tooth and so far, GT has landed some nice sub region all stars from NC ( Joe Cox’s home state and he defeated nobody) but no real beef. WHERE is the beef??

SEC rules.

kingster

August 25th, 2010
8:45 am

Romedawg, you forgot to mention about being the #1 party school, if thats the reason why they have some many problem with kids being stopped by the police and some many going to jail? Hey, maybe I’m wrong, I’ve been wrong before(lol)

RambleOn84

August 25th, 2010
8:45 am

The bashing of other schools is childish…let’s stay above that please…

GT Sambo

August 25th, 2010
8:46 am

Absolutely, GT is a research-focused, technical institute. We are already told one recruit this year that he wasn’t getting in because of academic issues. We typically aren’t going to attract the top-rated recruits. Now hopefully we can get a few of the Derrick Morgans and Calvin Johnsons to come here, but they will be the exception, not the rule. Additionally, the types of athletes we are recruiting at QB and OL (and to some extent RB) by definition aren’t going to be the highest rated guys even though they may be the among top guys available in the country for CPJ’s system.

Paddy

August 25th, 2010
8:50 am

Marc, Chip is not making up news, he is reporting the news!

BigTimeTECHFan

August 25th, 2010
8:52 am

Every fine here – He’s doing what I would do if I were being recruited.
I would get free tickets to as many NCAA games as I could. One Week I would be at ND Vs. Mich, Next Florida Vs. Georgia. That would be fun stuff.

Also like the surprise visits, that’s smart, Schools not putting on a show.

Hope he picks Tech, wish him well regardless.

GT Sambo

August 25th, 2010
8:53 am

The Ring,
I think Al Groh has done a great job helping to attract linebackers (the premier position in the 3-4). In 2009, GT brought in 2 in the 2010 class (including a late addition directly attributable to Al Groh) and 4 so far in 2011 class. All these guys are 3 and 4 star (depending on which recruiting serive you look at). I’d rather have Super Bowl winning DC Al Groh coaching my defense than Todd Grantham, a guy who was fired from his last DC job.

chandran

August 25th, 2010
8:58 am

what a moron. all 5 are equal..so is florida, miami, UCLA, and all 75 college football teams..they are all equal.

Chuck T's

August 25th, 2010
9:00 am

The guy is a waffler. He’s just waiting his ocmpetitors out to see where they go, fears comepting. Wants to wait untl the season plays out and go with the hot team instead of his ocnvictions. From what I read, Georgia has stopped going after him, because he’s visitng to so many other schools. He’ll end up going to some weak school where he can start.

Bryan

August 25th, 2010
9:00 am

Come to UGA so you can get drunk, arrested and kicked off the football team.

kingster

August 25th, 2010
9:04 am

You are very much right Rambleon84, it is childish of me play tic for tac, I will concentrate on the positive and good things only about GT program.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 25th, 2010
9:09 am

“Come to UGA so you can be coached by Grantham, whom Demarcus Ware credits for making him one of the best defensive players in the NFL.”

1. Ware was 2 time pro-bowl player before Grantham ever coached in Dallas
2. Ware plays outside Linebacker. Grantham was Defensive Line Coach.
3. Ware was No 1 pick, 11th overall out of Troy.

Saying Grantham made him the player he is is a very strong reach.

Not bash Grantham, he did nice work with cowboys, but why make stuff up.

I am a BIG stupid DOG

August 25th, 2010
9:15 am

Can I get a woof?

TechGrad

August 25th, 2010
9:21 am

DestinDawg, I graduated from Tech with a Biology degree and worked for ten years as a microbiologist. Now, I’m in engineering. GT prepares students for all the majors you mentioned in your post. I classmates who are doctors, lawyers, educators (one is president of a company that develops and opens charter schools), business professionals. I have 2 friends who work for NASA. Tech can prepare you for anything. It’s up to each individual what they do with that education. I am confident that Stephon Tuitt chooses GT at the end of the day, but if he doesn’t then I’m sure he will go where he thinks it’s right for him. He will get whatever it is he’s looking for, and Tech will continue to win. I just hope he isn’t doing this because, all of a sudden, he’s the number one strongside DE in the country and he thinks he should be at an SEC school. The trade of UF for Miami is troubling in that regard. I’m pretty sure Clemson is trying to sell recruits on the idea that they may move to the SEC in the next round of expansion.

Buzzzed

August 25th, 2010
9:27 am

@The Ring. I think the staff is doing a great job recruiting this year. Groh IS bringing in some great talent.

Sounds like Mr. Truitt is having some fun but as a previous poster mentioned, there is a fine line between this type of recruiting fun and being labeled a prima donna.

Todd

August 25th, 2010
9:29 am

Come to the uga and you can look like a retard like this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GJVxFP19Gs

Buzzzed

August 25th, 2010
9:29 am

TechGrad, the SEC sucks except for two schools. You are giving the other loser SEC schools a big head.

congrats

August 25th, 2010
9:32 am

congrats on reeling in those top players.

Coach Grantham

August 25th, 2010
9:33 am

He’ll wear red and black.

The Bees Nees

August 25th, 2010
9:34 am

4 and 5 stars constantly get left out at UGA come to Tech get coached up and then leave for the Pro’s. Tech has proven we do much better than UGA with the 4 stars that come through our program.

Cuttysark

August 25th, 2010
9:35 am

Thanks for the continuous updates Chip! You can’t blame Mr. Tuitt for wanting to take some trips to other college campuses, after all, he needs to be certain about his final choice. I’m of the opinion that he still has the Yellow Jackets at the top of his list, but why not take the time and enjoy the recruiting process this season. For more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Go Jackets!

GT12

August 25th, 2010
9:36 am

@The Ring

Fairly sure CPJ never said that we would start bringing in the 4 and 5 stars if we brought in Al Groh…

Nothing to worry about in this article. Stephon would have committed a while ago if it weren’t for our committment policy. We still have the edge over all those schools because his mom loves Tech. Like the article said, I wouldn’t put it in pen yet, but it’s more than likely that he’ll choose Tech at the end of the day.

DR Nick

August 25th, 2010
9:37 am

Rambleon84 and Destin Dawg–I am a physician and a GT grad–Med & Law schools are fortunately open to ALL who qualify–not just UGA grads–a Tech degree is certainly good base for further study;much better than History or Music degree–GO JACKETS!!

Davis

August 25th, 2010
9:38 am

Chip is such a UGA homer… LMAO

Davis

August 25th, 2010
9:40 am

No wonder no other schools share inside information with you..! FACT!

bird in the hand

August 25th, 2010
9:45 am

He’s going to Tech. His coach spilled the beans in that article yesterday.

Dawgtards ruin this state

August 25th, 2010
9:45 am

Anybody else notice that Tim Tuckers blogs make it seem like he smoked crack for breckfast?

Habersham Dawg

August 25th, 2010
9:46 am

These posts are a lot more civil than normal. Must be because all the middle schools are back in session.