Stephon Tuitt took his first official visit of the year and, in two words, he was blown away.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive end from Monroe Area traveled with his mother to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame-Michigan game and they both were wowed by what they saw there.
“I didn’t expect the visit to go so well,” said Tuitt, who has the Fighting Irish among a top five that includes Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami. “It went really well. I saw things I never thought I’d see. Just looking at the campus and seeing all the history was great.”
Tuitt got the full treatment from Notre Dame. He and his mom actually left for South Bend by car on Thursday and did not get home until Sunday night.
In between he spent a bunch of time with his official host, redshirt freshman linebacker Kendall Moore, who showed him around the campus and introduced him to players. He also spent time with coaches, fellow recruits, took an academic tour and, of course, took in his first game at Notre Dame Stadium.
The fact that the Irish lost in dramatic fashion 28-24 to rival Michigan did not sway Tuitt one bit.
“It was a great game,” Tuitt said. “Denard Robinson is just a spectacular player. You can’t take anything away from the defense. That guy may win the Heisman.”
Just as important, Tuitt’s mother enjoyed the trip, he said. “She loved it. She actually liked Notre Dame when she was a child. She got a chance to see things you don’t see on TV.”
The Tuitts weren’t the only ones impressed with the visit. George and Josh Atkinson, twin sons of former Oakland Raiders defensive back George Atkinson, committed to Notre Dame during their visit.
Tuitt said he doesn’t have any immediate plans to take any other official visits. More than likely he said he’ll take a series of unofficial visits to campuses closer by. He said he wants to put recruiting on the back burner for a little while so he can focus on his senior football season. The Purple Hurricanes (2-0), winless the previous two seasons, will be seeking to stay undefeated in their region opener Friday night at Lumpkin County.
In the meantime, Tuitt was understandably exhausted after the 12-1/2 hour drive home Sunday night. But happily so.
“I’ve got high interest in Notre Dame now,” he said.