Tuitt receives 2nd round grade from NFL Evaluation

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday that star defensive end Stephon Tuitt has received a 2nd round grade for the NFL Draft, according to an evaluation they received from the league.

Tuitt will focus primarily this week on the preparing for the Pinstripe Bowl Saturday in New York City. After the bowl game, he will sit down with his mom and Coach Kelly to make a decision on whether to enter the NFL Draft or return for his senior season at Notre Dame.

The Irish arrived in New York City on Monday and worked out at the practice facility of the New York Giants in New Jersey on Tuesday.

Here are some additional notes on ND's first two days in NYC so far:

-- The Irish football squad began its game week Monday with an 8 a.m. breakfast, a 9 a.m. special teams meeting, practice in the Loftus Center from 10:40 a.m. until noon, followed by lunch.

-- The Notre Dame travel party, including families of most coaching staff and administrators, filled seven buses that headed for Michiana Regional Airport. The Irish originally were slated to fly via Delta 747 charter at 4:30 p.m., but a minor mechanical issue and New York weather delayed departure until 6:12 p.m. The flight landed at JFK in New York about 7:40 p.m., and the Irish arrived at their New York Hilton headquarters on Sixth Avenue a little after 9 p.m. Players, coaches and staff had the evening to themselves.

-- There’s Pinstripe Bowl signage everywhere in the New York Hilton, including on elevator doors and lobby columns. There’s also a Pinstripe Bowl desk in the lobby where staffers answer questions and provide directions and other assistance to members of the Notre Dame party.

-- This morning, the Irish team had brunch at 10:30, a special teams meeting an hour later and then left at 1 p.m. for practice at the New York Giants training facility. Temperatures were in the 30s, but the day dawned with blue skies and sunshine.

-- As Irish coach Brian Kelly noted in his post-practice media briefing, the Notre Dame team and staff continue their adjustment to the loss of coordinators Chuck Martin (to the Miami of Ohio head coaching job) and Bob Diaco (to Connecticut).

-- After an hour and a half practice, the Irish returned to the Hilton, then headed out at 5:30 p.m. for a bus tour of New York City. The team held its Christmas Eve dinner at La Nonna in Little Italy, and then returned for a screening of “Anchorman 2.”

-- Christmas Day will feature Mass at 10 a.m., followed by a brunch for the entire travel party. The squad will have meetings beginning at noon, and then depart at 1:30 p.m. for a planned 90-minute practice at the New York Jets facilities.

-- After Christmas night dinner at the hotel, the team walks a few blocks to Radio City Music Hall for the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular,” while other travel party members will see “Jersey Boys.”

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