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Thursday, April 3, 2014
Getting to know Shy Tuttle

By Gerry Hamilton

Throughout this recruiting cycle, RecruitingNation will profile a number of ESPN 300 prospects in the 2015 class, including an inside look at the prospect, his recruitment, a scouting report and what college program could benefit when he ultimately makes his decision.

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- When going down the list of the most productive players in the Class of 2015, defensive tackle Shy Tuttle might be at the top.

In three varsity seasons, Tuttle, No. 12 in the ESPN Junior 300, has more than 230 tackles, including over 50 tackles for loss and more than 30 sacks.
According to North Davidson head coach Mark Holcomb, there are more reasons for his success than just raw talent.

“He is stronger and quicker than the kids he’s lined up against, so he’s able to push kids on this level around,” Holcomb said. “But he plays hard, runs to the ball, and effort is something you can’t coach, and he came here with that. He plays hard, lifts hard and just does things the right way.”

Shy Tuttle
ESPN Junior 300 DT Shy Tuttle is starting to narrow down his considerable offer list.
As impressive as Tuttle’s play and pure talent is, it’s the maturity and grasp of the high-profile situation before him that has Holcomb singing his praises.

“The biggest thing maturity wise, is he has done a great job in the weight room. He’s gained a lot of weight in the last two years. I think he played at about 270 as a freshman. He still practices hard, but just the overall maturity as a person has been big. He’s handled this [recruiting] process better than a lot of kids would have. He’s always done well in class. He’s done a great job representing our school.”

For Tuttle, growing up the biggest kid in a small town made playing football a given.

“I’ve always been bigger than people, so it has been easier for me,” Tuttle said. “Growing up, I played a lot of sports like baseball, basketball and football, but I guess football has always been my sport. I was around 260 pounds my freshman year, about 290 as a sophomore and I am 310 now. I really liked basketball growing up too, but I got too big.”

While Tuttle recorded over 70 tackles as a freshman to earn numerous postseason accolades, it wasn’t until the spring of his freshman year that he truly realized football could be a catalyst for his future.

“When I got my first offer from UNC. It was the spring of my freshman year. It meant a lot, but now I handle everything better,” he said.

With an offer list that reads like a who’s who of college football, finding the time to build relationships can be the toughest part of the equation. Headed into the spring evaluation period, there are some schools that Tuttle talks to the most.

“I’m staying in contact with about seven schools the most,” Tuttle said. “UNC, Clemson, Tennessee, NC State, Miami, Florida and Florida State are the schools that are coming at me the hardest.”

Currently rehabbing a left shoulder that required surgery and will keep him out of action until July, Tuttle is zeroing in on his recruitment, with plans to graduate high school in December.

“I’m just trying to visit everywhere I can right now, and want to narrow it down over the summer. I’ve got to have a good feel for the coaches. That’s what I’m trying to do,” he said. “I ask the players how the coaches are on and off the field, and how they were when they recruited them versus now that they are there.”

Tuttle plans to make unofficial visits to North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State and Florida this spring, with the Seminoles scheduled for April 18-19. He visited Tennessee on March 30.

About his recruitment: Tuttle is one of the more coveted interior line prospects in the class. While he could play end in a 3-4 scheme, it’s his ability to be a pass rushing tackle that has college coaches salivating. There are family ties to Clemson, where his uncle Perry Tuttle played for the Tigers and was a first-round NFL draft selection in 1982. His mom is a North Carolina fan according to Tuttle.

Scouting profile: Big, strong presence in the trenches. Good height and bulk at this stage. Displays very good playing strength and good initial quicks for size. A physical and athletic player for his size. Displays a good motor, moves well for his size and can be a factor outside the tackles at times. He has room to improve in areas, but possesses the tools to be a highly productive defender at the college level. Enough rough tools to be able to contribute early if needed with the upside to develop into an excellent player. -- Craig Haubert

Handicapping the race: At this point, North Carolina has the decided edge of the schools closest to home, with Clemson and Tennessee lurking a little farther from home. Florida has a quality relationship with Tuttle as well. If his decision comes down to family and staying close to home, it will be the Tar Heels or Tigers. Should distance not play a factor, the Vols have Tuttle’s attention, with the mid-April visit to Florida State likely to be pivotal.