Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt has decided to bypass his final year of eligibility and make himself available for the 2014 NFL draft, Sports Illustrated reported on Sunday night.
“I’m ready to take my game to another level,” Tuitt told SI. “Research had nothing to do with it. All I did was work out pros and cons, and that helped me realize I have more pros than cons and I’m ready to go. I’m comfortable and confident and I’m ready to take this step for me.”
The 6-foot-6, 322-pounder has been mulling entering the draft for several weeks now. He was given a second-round draft grade by the NFL evaluation committee in late December.
Tuitt finished with 49 tackles in 2013, including 9 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. With Tuitt and Louis Nix both leaving for the NFL, Notre Dame will have some big shoes to fill on its defensive line in 2014.