A day after he said would return for his senior season, Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt's mother said that nothing about his future has been decided just yet, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.
Tuitt was originally quoted on Wednesday in the Observer, Notre Dame's school newspaper as saying:
"I'm coming back next year. I'm a junior. I still have one year."
However, a text sent Thursday to the Chicago Tribune by Tuitt's mother, Tamara Tuitt-Barlett, was less definitive:
"Stephon has not decided what he is going to do," Tuitt-Bartlett wrote to the Tribune. "What he meant to say was that school is the focal point and he will get his degree from ND."
Based on comments Tuitt's mother has made in the past, it is clear that her preference is for the 6'6, 312 pound defensive end to one day receive his degree from Notre Dame. The only uncertainty that remains is whether that comes in 2014 or at some later date:
"If he comes out, he definitely will have to get his degree," Tuitt-Bartlett told the Tribune in August. "I don't care how he does it, but it definitely has to happen. I wouldn't want an opportunity to pass him by, but getting your degree is very, very important."The NFL is going to be there. If he has a good season, we'll look into that. There's no definite. It's not a definite."
If Tuitt does indeed return to Notre Dame next season, it would be a huge boost for defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, whose unit will be already losing senior defensive tackle Louis Nix III.
Tuitt has tallied 18 tackles (4.5 for loss), three sacks and eight quarterback hits through five games this season, and is currently projected to be anywhere from a mid first round to second round pick.
For more on Tuitt, check out Mocking The Draft's scouting report.