Stephon Tuitt was one of the state’s top recruiting dramas in 2011. The 5-star defensive end from Monroe Area High School initially pledged to Notre Dame but switched to Georgia Tech in mid-January. It lasted for about 30 hours as Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly quickly hopped on a plane to fly down to Georgia to convince Tuitt to commit again to Notre Dame, which Tuitt did, signing last February.
More than three months later, Tuitt was asked about his second choice. “If I didn’t go to Notre Dame, it would’ve been Georgia Tech. It came down to the point where it was … what my feelings were, talking to my family about them, looking for a brighter future, and that I felt more comfortable at Notre Dame. There’s nothing Georgia Tech could’ve done better. They recruited me very well.”
We asked the 6-foot-5, 260 pounder several other questions as part of our “Recruiting Rewind” series.
What was the funniest thing a college coach said to you? Coach Dabo Swinney told me that I could come to Clemson and play tight end. When I went to their 7-on-7 camp, I was playing running back [with my high school team] and he saw my hands. He said I could play tight end for Clemson, too, along with defensive end. I thought that was funny.
What was the most creative thing a college did to get your attention? It was Georgia with … what was that called? (pause) It was the “Dream Team.” I thought that was creative. They brought out an iPad and showed all the top players in the state that they wanted to sign. I liked it. No other school did anything like that.
Your biggest recruiting regret? Not taking a visit to a West Coast school. I think if I was able to go through it again, I would’ve taken a visit to the far West to see the playing style and the environment … one of the California schools. Who knows? I might’ve liked it out there.
How do you reflect on the recruiting process? It got crazy toward the end when it was finally time to sign the papers. There’s a lot of pressure on you. People think you ought to sign with other schools than the one you signed with. Other than that, I enjoyed the recruiting process and look forward to playing at the next level.
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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