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Sunday, January 5, 2014
DE Stephon Tuitt to enter draft

By Matt Fortuna
ESPN.com

Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt will enter the NFL draft, the junior told ESPN.com.

SI.com reported the move earlier Sunday.

The 6-foot-6, 312-pound pass rusher received a second-round grade from the NFL advisory board, though he has been pegged by most analysts, including ESPN's Todd McShay, as a mid-first round pick.

"I'm ready to take my game to the next level and do what what I love to do -- play football, compete and have fun," Tuitt said.

Despite being plagued by back issues and recovering from offseason hernia surgery, Tuitt started all 13 games.

He led the Fighting Irish in sacks with 7.5 and tackles for loss with 9, adding 13 hurries, a forced fumble and an interception in the end zone for a touchdown.

The Monroe, Ga., native tallied 21.5 sacks for his career, and his 12 sacks in 2012 were 1.5 shy of Justin Tuck's school single-season record.

ESPN's Joe Schad contributed to this report.