Archbishop Spalding’s man under center is bound for the land of ivy, bulldogs, and The Game.
Austin Tutas, a rising senior and three star pro-style quarterback according to Rivals, announced his commitment to Yale University on Friday, becoming the second Cavalier to ensure his college future during the time of the coronavirus pandemic. Wide receiver Zakee Wheatley, who will be a senior this fall, declared his intention to play for Penn State in April.
Spalding coach Kyle Schmitt is pretty sure Tutas will be his first player he’s sent to the Ivy League.
“It’s been a bright spot during this time, for sure,” Schmitt said. “It would be a mistake for Austin to go anywhere else but a place like Yale.”
Schmitt felt that Tutas found comfort in the relationships between his quarterback and Yale coaches such as head coach Tony Reno, quarterbacks coach Kevin Cahill and assistant head coach Jordan Stevens, whom Schmitt said recruited Tutas over the last few years.
The 6-foot-1, 198-pound rising senior foresees himself fitting in wherever coaches see fit.
“My only job is to get on campus and help the program in any way I can. My sole goal is to go and from the minute I step on campus, just work as hard as possible. Let the chips fall where they may and put the team first,” Tutas said. “... Before we even get to that point, the goal is to [recruit] kids from around the country and try to build up the 2021 class. Get the most elite players we can and the best people we can. Make a special class and hope that will springboard us to a better future.”
Yale lingered in Tutas’ mind for a while. He desires to make the military his life after football and pursue global affairs or international relations. Though he’d reeled offers from over a dozen schools, such as Temple, Virginia Tech and Harvard, the Ivy League school seemed to bridge Tutas’ interests into one.
“Talking it over with the strength coach, and the way they train their players, and with academic advisors with the internships they can provide their students, everything clicked into place. It felt right,” Tutas said.
Tutas’ stock skyrocketed this past fall. In 11 games, the quarterback amassed 2,155 passing yards with 162 completions over 309 attempts and scored 18 touchdowns — more than his past two seasons combined.
Schmitt recalls scrimmaging against Yale’s most recent quarterback, Kurt Rawlings, when the Bel Air native played for John Carroll several years ago.
“I think Austin’s a similar type of quarterback as Kurt. He’s just gotten the chance to compete in an awesome league,” Schmitt said. “The Ivy League is really good, high-level football with teammates that are going to enhance the experience. I think he’s got a chance to really excel there.”
Though Tutas, who turned 17 in June, is actually younger than some of his rising junior teammates, Schmitt believes the Severn native’s leadership skills have blossomed during the pandemic. The coach has watched Tutus command Zoom sessions, all while improving his game as a passer as well as a runner.
Schmitt, cognizant of the threat the coronavirus pandemic puts on having a normal Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference season presents, hopes his star under center will get to shine.
“He’s shaped his body over the last year. He’s stronger, he’s faster,” Schmitt said. “That’s not only going to enhance our offense, but his game as well.”
The quarterback intends to hone his position as a leader to shepherd Spalding to the MIAA A Conference crown, provided coronavirus stipulations allow for that kind of thing.
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“To bring home The [Mike] Whittles trophy to Spalding would be really special,” Tutas said, “and that’s our goal right now.”