May 9, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Former University of Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt was selected with the 46th overall pick (14th choice of round two) in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and was the second Fighting Irish player taken in this year's draft.
Tuitt is the highest Notre Dame defensive lineman selected in the NFL draft since Renaldo Wynn was chosen by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 21st pick of the 1997 draft.
Tuitt is the 22nd defensive lineman in school history to be taken in the first two rounds of the NFL draft. In addition to Wynn and Tuitt, 19 other Irish defensive lineman have been chosen in the top two rounds. The first-round picks include Walt Patulski (first overall by the Buffalo Bills in 1972), Mike McCoy (second overall by the Green Bay Packers in 1970), Steve Niehaus (second overall by the Seattle Seahawks in 1976), Kevin Hardy (seventh overall by the New Orleans Saints in 1968), Bryant Young (seventh overall by the San Francisco 49ers in 1994), Ross Browner (eighth overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1978), Mike Fanning (ninth overall by the Los Angeles Rams in 1975), Alan Page (15th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in 1967), Eric Dorsey (19th overall by the New York Giants in 1986) and Mike Kadish (25th overall by the Miami Dolphins in 1972). The second-round selections include Bob Toneff (22nd overall by the San Francisco 49ers in 1952), Greg Marx (39th overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 1973), Willie Fry (49th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1978), Bob Golic (52nd overall by the New England Patriots in 1979), Mike Gann (45th overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 1985), Jeff Alm (41st overall by the Houston Oilers in 1990), Chris Zorich (49th overall by the Chicago Bears in 1991), Anthony Weaver (52nd overall by the Baltimore Ravens in 2002), Victor Abiamiri (57th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007) and Trevor Laws (47th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008).
Tuitt becomes the first Notre Dame player drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers since Malcolm Johnson was chosen in the fifth round of the 1999 draft. Tuitt is the 35th all-time Irish player to get drafted by the Steelers. Only the Chicago Bears (41 picks) have drafted more Notre Dame players in school history.
Tuitt saw action in 35 games and started 29 in a Notre Dame uniform. He finished his Irish career with 21.5 sacks, which ranks tied for the third most in school history. The only two players in Notre Dame history with more career sacks than Tuitt are Justin Tuck (2002-04, 24.5) and Kory Minor (1995-98, 22.5). He registered 127 tackles, including 25.0 for loss, as well as five passes defended, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick. Tuitt also added an interception. He scored a pair of defensive touchdowns during his career. Tuitt collected a 77-yard fumble return for touchdown against Navy in 2012 and picked off a pass in Michigan's end zone for a touchdown in 2013.
Tuitt, a two-time Notre Dame Lineman of the Year, started all 26 games over the last two seasons. In 2013, he led all Irish defensive linemen in tackles with 50, tackles for loss with 9.0 and sacks with 7.5. Tuitt forced a fumble against Arizona State and totaled 13 quarterback hurries.
Tuitt had his best campaign in 2012. He was named first-team All-America by ESPN.com, Athlon Sports, Sports Illustrated and CBSSports.com. Tuitt added second-team accolades by Walter Camp, Associated Press and Sporting News. He tallied 47 tackles, including 13.0 for loss, a team-high 12.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one pass breakup and one blocked kick. Tuitt's 12.0 sacks are the second most in single-season school history and helped Notre Dame to the BCS National Championship Game.
IN THE IRISH RECORD BOOKS
Points scored: 6, vs. Navy, Sept. 1, 2012 ; at Michigan, Sept. 7, 2013
Touchdowns: 1, vs. Navy, Sept. 1, 2012 ; at Michigan, Sept. 7, 2013
Interceptions: 1, at Michigan, Sept. 7, 2013
Tackles: 7, five times
Sacks: 2.0, four times
Tackles for loss: 2.0, six times
Fumbles forced: 2, at Boston College, Nov. 10, 2012
Fumbles recovered: 1, vs. Navy, Sept. 1, 2012
Pass breakups: 1, five times
Blocked kicks: 1, Stanford, Oct. 13, 2012
HONORS & AWARDS