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Tuitt recovering well from sports hernia surgery

Apr 8, 2013, 5:53 PM EST

Stanford v Notre Dame Getty Images

Last season, Stephon Tuitt put himself on the map with a breakout sophomore season. While his numbers tailed off down the stretch, Tuitt was near the top of the NCAA leaders in sacks halfway through the season, en route to a still mighty impressive team leading 12 quarterback take-downs. For a 3-4 defensive end that was one of the best run stuffers in the country, there’s not much to complain about considering it was Tuitt’s first season as an every-down contributor.

While most of us just assumed the slow down in production was a combination of defenses adjusting and Tuitt wearing down, Brian Kelly revealed earlier this spring that it was a sports hernia that hampered Tuitt, an injury the rising junior had surgery on to help correct this offseason.

“He’s already moving really well,” Kelly said a few weeks ago, when updating the media on his recovery. “He feels so much better. He had some restriction in that groin-hip flexor area where he was really restricted and really running out. So we said, ‘You know what? Let’s get it done. Let’s not wait on it.’ It’s something we may have managed, but we want to get him 100 percent.”

Tuitt is back contributing in practice, getting developmental reps while gingerly working back from the procedure. But the break in training also gave Tuitt a chance to add some bulk, a number that might actually be under-reported at 322 pounds.

“With the surgery, he wasn’t working out and he put on a little weight,” Kelly explained, pegging the defensive end at a number closer to Louis Nixian 330 pounds. “Coach Longo will get him down to what we believe is a better number, and he knows that too. He’s practiced really well, and I’m pleased with the way he’s moving. He’s been able to cut loose and really do the things that kind of encumbered him last year with that hernia.”

It’s amazing to consider that Tuitt played “encumbered” last season. While he didn’t pass former Irish great Justin Tuck’s sack record after being shut out in the season’s last two ball games, he still performed at a remarkably high level, especially in the scheme Bob Diaco employs.

But as we get an idea of what the 2013 defense has in store for opposing offenses, it’s amazing to think that Tuitt will likely be playing at least a full 20 pounds heavier than he did last season. That’s downright scary.

“I think he’s going to be a natural 315,” Kelly said, up from the 295 he was listed at last season. “He’s just a big fella. He’s a little heavy right now, but we’ll get him down.”

That combination of size and speed is likely to produce another All-American caliber season. While Jadeveon Clowney has already started to cement his legendary status with his helmet-popping hit against Michigan running back Vincent Smith, Tuitt might actually be flying under the radar.

  1. dudeacow - Apr 8, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    2011 was a pretty dang good class for ends. Clowney, Tuitt, Lynch, Tank Carradine… but Tuitt is the best. NO ONE gets 12 sacks while having a hernia during a ‘learning year.’

    • steeldominance - Apr 9, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      As much as I love Tuitt and hope to see him playing for my Steelers in a few years, he is not as good as Clowney. Close, but not as good. Clowney is hands down the #1 pick, barring a terrible injury, when he comes out.

  2. smurphdoggy29 - Apr 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    WHEW can’t wait for an “un-encumbered” # 7

    Anyhoo just wanted to throw something out at Keith and all the people who cover Notre Dame. Specifically the point that Notre Dame doesn’t have anyone apparently who can matriculate the ball down the field on offense. The QB doesn’t (apparently) have anyone to give or throw the ball to. Constantly from the writers there is the “sky is falling” scenario, one that means there are no players good enough to offensively challenge seemingly anyone on any defense.

    I for one am tired of that. I also use the following to point out the hypocrisy straight from a writers own tome:

    “is something that only reiterates the perspective that there’s nothing to worry about. This is a roster with talented personnel”.

    So ?

    Which is it ? Absolutely no bullets in the old holster OR “This is a roster with talented personnel” ?

    Discuss….

  3. nudeman - Apr 8, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Right now I’d rate ND’s skill position players about a 6.5 (on 10 pt scale), absolute max.
    Their best talent is in the frosh class, but I’d be surprised if anyone there makes a big contribution this year.

    Seems like there are a combination of guys who are:
    INJURY PRONE (Carlisle, Daniels, Alex Welch)
    QUESTION MARKS (Niklas, Prosise, Brown, Mahone) and
    LIMITED (GAIII can’t catch the ball; Cam is not big or fast enough to be anything other than a role player; Koyack has been something of a disappointment)

    I guess unless you’re Alabama it’s not unusual for things to be so uncertain, so maybe it’s no big deal and they’ll be fine.
    The key though is not these players as much as it is keeping Golson healthy.

    • mtflsmitty - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:40 AM

      Nude, are you getting private practice film sent to you by BK? I haven’t seen GAIII drop a pass since last December or so and he looks great in the selected practice film released so far. I know you like to be balanced and avoid overzealous fanaticism. But as best I can you’re in the dark like the rest of us. Virtually no data, and independent variables changing every few practices.

      Many would say T A&M was the 2nd best team after the bowls last year. I wonder how you would have rated their offense heading into last season. 6.5?

      I’ll take it.

      • nudeman - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:51 AM

        It has been mentioned many times on other sites that GAIII does not have good hands. In fact, if you recall when he first got to ND they had him at WR in camp and he couldn’t catch the damn ball.

        I believe that career to date he has zero receptions. At least I can’t ever recall him catching a ball.

  4. andy44teg - Apr 8, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    fnc11 here, I must say that Tuitt is the most overrated d lineman in the country, bar none! Here’s BK giving the horses ass of an excuse for why he got manhandled by Alabama in the title game by saying he had a hernia!! Who, older than the age of 2, gets a hernia??? c’mon, do you think that we’re all idiots!!?? This is getting just pathetic with all the excuses this joke of a coaching regime is coming up with!

    • nudeman - Apr 8, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      You do a pretty convincing fnc
      Now that you’ve posted for him maybe he’ll sit this one out

      Roll dam Tide

      • andy44teg - Apr 8, 2013 at 10:40 PM

        that’d be too lucky…

    • kansasirish - Apr 8, 2013 at 11:14 PM

      Are you really that stupid? You are a joke of a poster!!!!!!

      • cvilleirish - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:01 AM

        Wow, you people think that I am wound a little tight? Kansas, Andy is picking on fnc. He was being facetious. Relax a little.

      • nudeman - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:02 AM

        And exactly who the fuck are you?

      • andy44teg - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:46 AM

        kansasirish,
        read my post again…ssssllllooowwwlllyyy….mainly the first 2 words

      • mtflsmitty - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:47 AM

        LOL. Yeah, We’ve all been carrying loads of resentment around for the damn tightly wound cvilleirish. Thank goodness the omnipresent kansasirish is here to deflect some of the personal attacks from cville. Heat’s off for now, pal.

    • mtflsmitty - Apr 9, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      I enjoyed the comic relief. But I absolutely love the fact you got so many thumbs down. Hilarious that 28 people here didn’t get the joke. This provides a moment to have a laugh at some ND grads’ complete absence of street smarts.

    • 1notredamefan - Apr 9, 2013 at 7:12 PM

      I would actually come back to posting on this sight If the likes of an Andy only showed an opinion instead of Jack Nude ARS always harassing and belittling the situation… O ya I am still the #1 FAN…

      • andy44teg - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        IT WAS A JOKE YOU IDIOT!

  5. dillonbigred - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    He doesn’t mean it. He is mimicking an abnoxious poster, fnc111, who is always negative and who is always ripping Kelly.

  6. yaketyyacc - Apr 9, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    contrary to what some feel, Notre Dame will have a good year in 2013. with a great recruiting class breathing down their necks, the upper classmen will be pushed to their best efforts constantly, or see that “freshman” on the field. and if they do, hey…. it is a win win situation.
    can the Irish again have a12-0 season? no. it better be 13-0. THE IRISH ARE COMING!

    • bearcatirishfan - Apr 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      I am honestly putting the over under at 10 wins this year with my gut telling me 11. But I don’t see any games on the schedule they shouldn’t / can’t win. In fact I think most of the regular opponents will have a down year except for Stanford and Michigan should be improved. Just not sure if all the lucky breaks (Pitt)will go our way this year hence the 10 over under. That all being said the offense needs to improve, can’t count on the defense to not allow td all yer, it’s just too hard to repeat the stats they he last year no matter now good they are.

  7. bernhtp - Apr 9, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    One thing I don’t understand about the Tuitt hernia is why did it take so long for him to get the (simple) surgical repair? If the five off weeks after the USC game were deemed too short and too critical for recovery, why wasn’t it done immediately after the BCS Championship game?

  8. 1historian - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Let’s not forget that 12 months or so ago the consensus of opinion was that the Irish were still a year away. Virtually no one saw the 12-0 season coming.

    Now it’s a year later. We got a first hand look at what a real Championship team looks like in January. No one who played in that game or watched it from the sidelines and is coming back this year will EVER

  9. 1historian - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    forget it.

    2 out of our last 3 Championships came after we got a butt-kicking in the bowl game the previous year.

  10. 25kgold - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    ***Breaking***: FSU to host Notre Dame in ’14! This will be one of our “partial ACC conference games” >>> http://floridastate.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1493462

  11. fnc111 - Apr 9, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Absolutely love Tuitt and he is a first day NFL pick someday but no one is in Clowney’s league dudeacow. He’d be the no. 1 pick in this years draft if allowed to enter. Don’t be a homer …

    • steeldominance - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      fnc, you will find that homerism is rampant on this board. Dont criticize BK, Golson or say that any non ND player is better than any ND player. If you do, be prepared to be flamed and labeled a troll. Comments other than “Golson will lead us to the NC”, “BK is a great coach and will make ND a dynasty again” and “(Insert ND player here) is the best at his position, bar none.” are not accepted here.

  12. fnc111 - Apr 9, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    No Andy, I’m just not a delusional ND fan. I can admit ND got lucky last year and that luck turned into being embarrassed on Jan. 7. I’m not always negative. I just point out facts that some fail to see because of blind allegiance. Hey I’m a recovering blind allegiance guy but I finally saw the light of who CBK really is and I believe I still have the right to call him out. I’m guessing you’re a liberal from Cuba?

    No offense going on four years under Kelly. If Philly offered him he was gone. It’s that simple. Would love to see him prove me wrong this year but I doubt. He just doesn’t have it in him to truly win a BIG game.

    As far as players I’ve never had anything but positive remarks on guys like Eifert, who should be a first round pick, or Cam who I think will shock some this fall, etc. Tuitt is a first rounder in the future but don’t tell me a lie that he is better than Clowney.

  13. letsgopens8771 - Apr 10, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Keep pluggin’ away, Tuitt!! Get Better! This is a guy who always puts in 110% every game, and I can’t wait to see him shine next year!

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