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Monday, May 13, 2013
SEC foes target sophomore DT Tuttle

By Radi Nabulsi

ATHENS, Ga. -- Viewers who tuned into last year’s SEC championship game were treated to an epic battle between Alabama and Georgia that was not decided until the last play of the game. It was the latest in a series of battles between schools that clash again and again on the recruiting trail, year after year. Both have targeted a sophomore defensive tackle from North Carolina. In fact, both programs offered Shy Tuttle (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) on the same day.

“It was pretty sweet,” Tuttle said. “I mean, those two are at the top of the football rankings -- two of the best teams in the country. Offers coming on the same day was a bit overwhelming. Georgia came by the school and told my coach I had an offer. They have a good defense and they have some pretty good defensive linemen.”

Later that day, Alabama did the same.

“The defensive line coach, Coach [Chris] Rumph, he came by,” Tuttle said. “He said they looked at my film and that they wanted to offer me. I didn’t know what to say. ... The No. 1 team in the country with back-to-back championships offering me? My family had the same reaction as me. At least my mom did. She was happy, but I think she is a UNC fan.”

The 6-foot-3, 295-pound sophomore also liked the Tar Heels growing up, but did not care for Duke as much.

“I liked the local schools growing up,” Tuttle said. “I don’t have any favorites yet, but UNC is recruiting me the hardest. NC State is trying to keep me in-state as well. Growing up watching college football, you want to be one of those guys that gets recruited. So with all these offers, I am just taking it all in right now. It is pretty cool. I am keeping my options open.”

Tuttle has seen a large contingent of coaches come by and check out his practices. Many of those evaluations have turned into offers, as Tuttle now has close to 20.

“Michigan came by and Virginia Tech came by today,” Tuttle said. “I am going to their camp and UNC’s. I think I will be going out of the state [to camps] a lot, like to Alabama and Georgia. Florida maybe, too. I’ll take advantage of the summer I guess. I think I’ll go to South Carolina, too. I’ll take visits while I am at the camps or afterward.”

The Sunshine State could be seeing a lot of Tuttle this summer as he also likes Florida State and Miami.

“I wanted the offers from Florida State and Miami,” Tuttle said. “FSU has some great linemen, too, and they always have a great defense. I like to see how I would fit in there.”

Shy is the nephew of former Clemson standout Perry Tuttle, a wide receiver who caught the game-winning pass in the Orange Bowl that gave the Tigers the 1981 national championship. Perry was a first-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills. Apparently Shy picked up his uncle’s fleet feet despite wearing a size 15 shoe.

“I compete in the shot put on our track team,” Tuttle said. “The other day I ran the 4x200 meter relay. It was our last track meet and the coach wanted to do something different. So I ran with the skinny guys. We came in third. I didn’t stare anybody down, but I think they were more intimidated by me running into their lanes.”

Tuttle, whose real name is Shyheim, doubts that anyone makes track spikes in his size.

“I had to run in tennis shoes,” Tuttle said.