Monroe Area’s Stephon Tuitt, one of the top defensive ends in the state and Rivals’ No. 22-ranked prospect in the country, committed to Notre Dame Wednesday night.
If that seems sudden, it does to Tuitt, too. But after making his official visit to Notre Dame with his mother this past weekend, the longtime Georgia Tech lean just felt there was no reason to put off a decision any longer.
“The two schools I was most interested in were Notre Dame and Georgia Tech,” Tuitt said from his Monroe home Wednesday night. “After this weekend, I knew which one I wanted to go to. What’s the point in waiting? There was no sense in continuing to go to other schools. I did that for the last year. It was just time.”
Most of the spring and summer, Tuitt (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) had listed the Yellow Jackets as his favorite among several schools. More recently he had said Tech was tied in his top five along with Notre Dame, Auburn, Clemson and Miami.
But all that reshuffled after he spent Thursday through Sunday in South Bend, Ind., and watched Notre Dame take on Michigan last Saturday.
“There was just one thing they had over Georgia Tech and that was my major,” said Tuitt, who wants to major in sports medicine and eventually become an orthopedist. “And I just got a special feeling there. I was comfortable and I had great chemistry with the coaches and players.”
Tuitt said he informed the Fighting Irish by calling head coach Brian Kelly a little after 7 p.m. Wednesday evening.
“He was excited,” Tuitt said. “It sounded like he did a little dance move.”
Afterward, Tuitt called Georgia Tech recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum. He said it was one of the hardest things he’s ever done in his life.
“He’s a great coach and I think the world of him,” Tuitt said. “You can’t take anything away from him. He was disappointed. It hurt. That was the hardest part. I wouldn’t have a second thought going to Georgia Tech. Notre Dame was just a better fit for me.”
Tuitt said he did not intend for the news to get out so quickly. He had planned to announce it to his teammates and classmates at Monroe Area High School on Thursday. But the news spread like wildfire through Twitter and Notre Dame fan sites. Tuitt’s phone was blowing up before he could even think about going to bed.
“I’m new to this game,” he said with a laugh. “It’s out now so I don’t so know what I’m supposed to do.”