Sep 15, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive end Stephon Tuitt (7) celebrates after Notre Dame defeated the Michigan State Spartans 20-3 at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIR

Before You Clowney, Don't Forget To Tuitt

For the past few days, we’ve heard all about how great Jadeveon Clowney is. He would be the #1 pick in April’s Draft if he was eligible. It seems like this all has stemmed from a play against Michigan. Admittedly, it has to be the play of the year in College Football. But, to jump on the Clowney bandwagon because of one play is rash.

Notre Dame has its own Defensive End who has been considered one of the best Defensive Linemen in the nation. An argument can be made that he is actually better and more versatile than Clowney.

Tuitt and Clowney had excellent 2012 seasons. The 6’6″ 303lbs Defensive Linemen from Georgia had 47 tackles, 13 of which were for loss. He forced 3 fumbles and recovered 1 and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown. Clowney had 54 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss. He also forced 3 fumbles and recovered another.

Oct. 20, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive end Stephon Tuitt (7) sacks BYU Cougars quarterback Riley Nelson (13) during the first quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The statistics slightly favor Clowney. However, Tuitt plays inside and outside along the Defensive Line. His chances to penetrate and make tackles for loss is a little less than Clowney’s.

Tuitt’s versatility is better than Clowney. In the NFL, Clowney could probably only play one, maybe two positions. His best position would be a Defensive End in a 4-3 scheme. But, he could possibly play Outside Linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. However, no one has seen Clowney play that postion. Tuitt could play Defensive End or Defensive Tackle in the 4-3. He could also play Defensive End in a 3-4 scheme.

Both players are physically gifted. Tuitt checks in at 6’6” 303lbs. Clowney is 6’6″ 256lbs. Both were 5-star recruits. Ultimately, both will have excellent NFL careers. Currently, WalterFootball.com is projecting Clowney to go 3rd and Tuitt to go 12th in the 2014 NFL Draft. The hype about Clowney is just but Tuitt is not far behind.

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