Will Stephon Tuitt return for his senior season at Notre Dame?
It's a direct question that appeared to have a very direct answer Wednesday night---and then not so much.
“I’m coming back next year,” Tuitt told the Notre Dame student newspaper, The Observer. “I’m a junior. I still have one year.”
The Observer says it followed up and asked Tuitt again if he was returning, in which he responded-- "yes."
So that's that. Notre Dame's star defensive end, All-American candidate and potential 1st round NFL Draft pick will be back for his senior season right?
If only it was that simple.
"Can't believe everything you read. Goodnight," Tuitt wrote on twitter shortly after the Observer article came out.
Oh, and then shortly after that, Tuitt deleted that twitter post.
So which is it---is he coming back or not?
"Stephon has not decided what he is going to do," Stephon's mother Tamara Tuitt-Bartlett told the Chicago Tribune Thursday morning. "What he meant to say was that school is the focal point and he will get his degree from ND."
Irish coach Brian Kelly also says Tuitt hasn't made a decision yet and wno't until after the year.
"We'll exhaust all of their means relative to the NFL and their draft status as well as talking to their family members at the end of the season," Kelly said Thursday. "No decisions will be made as long as I'm the head coach here until the end of the season. We won't be making any announcements."
"He probably didn't answer it in the manner that he was wanting to. I think he was saying, 'Yeah, I've got another year. I'm coming back.' I think his intentions weren't to say he's necessarily making a decision."
Even if Tuitt did say he was returning (to play football at Notre Dame) and meant it, it doesn't mean he didn't have the right to change his mind. Tuitt's production in 2013 continues to improve but was a little slow at the start of the season as he continued to recover from off-season hernia surgery. With six games left in the season--Tuitt could have a monster 2nd half of the year that could ultimately make him a top 5 pick in the NFL Draft and make it a no brainer for him to leave.
And no one would blame him for that. Not even his mom--as long as he gets that degree.
So is Stephon Tuitt returning for his senior season at Notre Dame?
Who knows---and we'll probably only know for sure after the season.