November 16, 2009

Tuitt takes in first GT game

Monroe Area defensive end Stephon Tuitt jumped onto team's radars this year with a strong junior campaign. The six-foot-five 260 defensive end is drawing interest from several top programs and already has one offer in hand. Tuitt made the short drive from Monroe to Atlanta a week ago to catch the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defeating Wake Forest in overtime at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Tuitt was impressed with what he saw.

"The visit went well and it was my first time on Georgia Tech's campus. I have never been there before. The atmosphere was great and I really liked it. The team is amazing and they never give up and always play hard. The coaches work hard and they had them focused."

During his visit, Tuitt did not get a chance to talk to the coaches much because they were so focused on the game, but their lack of availability actually impressed him.

"I did not really get a chance to talk to the coaches much because they were so focused most of the time," Tuitt said. "I talked to Coach Klein a lot because the rest of the staff was working on the game. Coach Johnson was especially focused on the game."

Tuitt could play defensive end or offensive tackle at the next level and the Jackets like what he can bring defensively.

"Georgia Tech likes me as a defensive end. They have seen my tape already of games from this season and they like me more at defensive end," he said. "That is the position I am better at and I prefer and they like defensive end. I can play either position, so I guess you never know what will happen."

After watching Derrick Morgan live in person, Tuitt was more than impressed with what the Tech coaching staff can do with a talented end.

"Derrick Morgan is like a role model for me," Tuitt said. "He is amazing. The defensive ends for Georgia Tech are incredible. They kept getting to the Wake Forest quarterback and they were getting in the heads of the offensive linemen. I really love their defensive line."

"I have not seen the entire Georgia Tech program yet, but I liked what I saw while I was there. While I was there, they got into the academics and I know that it is a good degree to have. If I go there, I know that in four years I will have a great degree and something to put on my resume that will get me a job. It is a high quality school to go to," Tuitt said. "They gave me a lot to think about when I make my choice especially knowing how many guys end up being successful that goes to school there."

After watching both in-state programs in person this season, Tuitt has a clearer picture of the similarities and differences between Georgia and Georgia Tech.

"Georgia Tech is a little smaller stadium wise than Georgia, but their fans got just as excited as any college I have been to," he said. "They were there in force supporting their team so the atmosphere was amazing. In that third quarter especially, there were really crazy with their cheers. Georgia was a little louder because there were more people, but it was not the same."

Tuitt has a written offer from Clemson so far and he is hoping that more offers are on the horizon including offers from both in-state programs. Several other programs including Florida are showing interest in Tuitt.

"I think there are going to be some more offers soon. After I get my junior season highlight tape out," Tuitt said. "Florida is starting to show some interest and they asked for my transcripts and all that. They have invited me to games. North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Clemson are showing a lot of interest as well as Georgia."

On the football field, Tuitt had a breakout season in his first year as a starter for the Hurricanes even though the team did not win a game.

"This year was rough, but I never gave up and my team never gave up," he said. "I had about 10 or 11 sacks this season and 60 total tackles in my first year starting on varsity. I think I did pretty well."

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