June 4, 2010

Tuitt receives a rare opportunity at 7-on-7s

When Stephon Tuitt arrived in Athens for Georgia's 7-on-7 camp, the event offered the four-star prospect from Monroe Area the opportunity to line up at a position he had never played before - running back.

Talk about an eye-opener, considering there are very few 6-foot-5, 260-pound running backs out there.

Nevertheless, Tuitt relished the opportunity.

"I was talking to my coaches to see if they'd let me do that with the real pads on," Tuitt joked during an interview Friday night with UGASports. "They said no, but it was great to see what it felt like to line up behind the quarterback. I liked it."

But make no mistake.

Defensive end is the reason Tuitt currently holds 13 offers, including ones from arch rivals Georgia and Georgia Tech.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt made sure Tuitt knew where the Bulldogs stood.

"Georgia showed me a lot of love, it was great exposure," Tuitt said. "Coach Richt came to our first game in the 7-on-7 and it was way over there, over in a field way, way out there."

Richt wasn't alone.

Along with Georgia's Top Dawg, Tuitt also met with running backs coach Bryan McClendon, defensive line coach Rodney Garner and had lunch with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

"He and I had a good talk," Tuitt said of Grantham. "It was a great experience, everyone was great toward me."

It was also a good experience for Tuitt's Monroe Area squad.

The Purple Hurricanes made it all the way to the championship game in the day-long event, eventually falling to North Gwinnett.

"Getting to the championship like we did I think will give us a lot of confidence," Tuitt said. "Hopefully, this is will be the start of something great. We've got one of the best classes we've ever had; we've got a lot of experience so I'm sure this will keep us all motivated."

Tuitt and his teammates will get another opportunity to strut their 7-on-7 skills in two weeks at Clemson, but obviously he's also got other things on his mind, like narrowing down his list of schools.

That process will begin sometimes this summer.

"I'm going to do it at some point, and the schools I'm still interested in are the ones I'm going to visit," Tuitt explained.

Although he doesn't have a final list, Tuitt said he expects to visit Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Notre Dame at some point before school begins.

In the meantime, Tuitt says he will continue to try to hone his game and show the schools recruiting him just how versatile he can be.

"Everybody's recruiting me for the defensive line, but I want to show everyone that I can be versatile and play other positions," said Tuitt, who has also played tight end. "I want to show that I'm not your typical defensive end, that I can do many different things."

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