Former Utah QB Jack Tuttle will transfer to Indiana

Jack Tuttle, once considered one of the nation’s top high school quarterbacks, is now a Hoosier.

Indiana announced Monday that the 6-foot-4 former Utah quarterback has signed his Big Ten tender of financial aid and will transfer to IU for the spring semester.

Tuttle’s eligibility for the 2019 season could be an evolving situation. It’s not yet clear if Tuttle, who did not see any action with the Utes as a true freshman in 2018, will have to sit out next fall.

Either way, Indiana has added to its depth chart a quarterback recently counted on the short list of the best prep-level passers in the country.

“Jack Tuttle is a tremendous addition to our program, and we are happy to welcome him to IU,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said in a statement. “He is extremely talented and brings a huge skill set to our quarterback room. We look forward to his arrival on campus next semester and his development as a Hoosier.”

Considered the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the country during the 2018 recruiting cycle, according to the 247 Sports composite rankings, the Mission Hills, Calif., native chose Utah over Alabama, LSU and USC. He also earned a spot in the 2017 Elite 11 Finals, a high-profile recruiting showcase that attracts the nation’s top high school prospects.

Had he signed with Indiana out of high school, Tuttle would’ve been the highest-rated Hoosier quarterback recruit in the recruiting ranking era.

“He’s a big-arm quarterback,” Mission Hills coach Chris Hauser told The Herald-Times. “He can throw it. He can throw all the throws. He’s going to be able to throw that big post route over the top. He’s gonna throw that deep dig route. He’s gonna throw that big comeback. He’s gonna be able to throw that throw sideways in a hurry and he’s also gonna have great touch to a running back coming out on a screen, or a tight end on a delay route or a crossing route. So from an arm standpoint, I believe he can make the throws necessary to play in the Big Ten.”

Tuttle committed to Utah as a high school junior, sticking with the Utes while other SEC and Pac-12 programs pursued him late in the 2018 signing cycle. Tuttle joined the Utah program as an early enrollee in time for spring practice and battled for the backup job.

But by the end of preseason camp in late August, Tuttle was listed as the No. 3 quarterback on Utah’s depth chart, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. He remained with the program through the first six games of the season and never saw the field before transferring in mid-October.

At Indiana, Tuttle’s transfer gives the Hoosiers a third quarterback in a room that also features returning starter Peyton Ramsey and classmate Michael Penix, who will be coming off an ACL injury next season.

“He’s gonna come in humble,” Hauser said. “He’s gonna come in and respect that those guys have been on the roster already. One of them has already been the quarterback there. … That’s something Jack hasn’t done yet. He hasn’t been in the battle yet at the college level. He’s going to honor what those guys have done already. But I think along with that, he will now do whatever it takes to outwork those guys, but he’s not gonna do it in a mean-spirited way. He is going to grind, and he may elevate those guys because of his work ethic.”

Tuttle, who was born in Indianapolis, received an Indiana scholarship offer before he committed to Utah. His father, Jay, was a walk-on kicker for the Hoosiers from 1986 to 1989.

As a senior at Mission Hills High School, Tuttle guided his school to a 12-1 record while completing 205 of his 295 passes (69.5 percent) for 3,171 yards with 41 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He also rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns as a senior.

That resume earned him San Diego Section Player of the Year honors and the 2017 Silver Pigskin Award, which is presented to San Diego’s most outstanding high school football player.

One of Tuttle’s best attributes, Hauser said, is the ability to trust his receivers and running backs to make plays, rather than force throws or freelance on his own.

“Obviously, in Division I Big Ten football, he’s gonna be surrounded with some very good players that can go make plays,” Hauser said. “He will know their offense. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already learned the playbook. He’s that kind of student.”

52 comments

  1. Just finished watching an 18 minute video of this kid, OMG! He is really impressive, great size, very good mobility and terrific long ball thrower. Makes all of the throws. Will be interesting to see if he will be eligible next year? If he is eligible, the QB competition will be incredible in camp next year. It certainly looks like Tuttle and Penix will be vying for the position with Ramsey being a distant 3rd. Along with hopefully 3 four star recruits signing a few days from now, this would be another 4 star coming on board. People can say what they want about Allen’s coaching ability but, there is no doubt the man can recruit! In years past we never gotten 4 stars to come to Bloomington and now we may possibly may have 4 four stars in camp next year with a couple of more Indiana kids that are 4 stars considering IU? Keep up the good work coach Allen!! Go Hoosiers!!

  2. Please excuse my sentence structure in the previous post but, I am a bit excited about this news:-) BTW, one more thing Allen needs to do, GET an offensive coordinator that can do the job much better that what we have been putting up with the last couple of years!! With the kind of talent we may have, we need somebody with some imagination to take advantage of it!

    1. MC,
      Exactly how creative can the OC be when the starting QB (PR) is not a serious threat to throw the ball downfield????? Without the downfield threat you have lost a significant portion of offensive capability. Funny thing, all the OC critics keep wanting to act as if the 1st half of the PSU game didn’t happen. Strange how the offense became quite creative when they had a QB in the game who WAS a threat to throw the ball downfield. Not saying DeBord is the long term answer, but his critics had better make a lot better arguments than I have seen thus far to be taken seriously.

    2. Mike C you are absolutely correct about the current offensive coordinator. Over the past 2 season he has helped IU to a 4-14 B10 record. Every time the offense doesn’t move the chains it puts extra strain on the defense and kills field position. Play calling is vital. In over 50 years of watching college football I have not seen more predictable and questionable play calling than the past 2 season at IU. If TA is a leader he will make a change. Only a leader can build a program.

  3. Now, I U will have to wait for the NCAA powers to rule on his Fall of 2019 eligibility, looks like Utah didn’t use the player under the 4 game rule during 2018 season. Question the NCAA, has no control over the Big Five and ND on the Bowl play-offs, but has control over eligibility? I U better do their homework as there were instances where some of the Big College powers, got their transfers eligible without sitting a year. Let’s see if the NCAA rules for the player in this case, so he can play football in the 2019 season. The NCAA hasn’t done anything with the NCAA basketball problems released by the FBI and has the RICE report finished. I’m one fan that lost any confidence in the NCAA ability to do anything except collect their TV packages money.

  4. Excellent for IU football program. 3 star @ 79 not 4 star per espn. (I always use espn for consistency as reference for me though in this case splitting hairs). I am sure some rating services have him at a 4 star.
    A qb that looks really good with size, can move, and throw the damm ball downfield.
    I am only looking at a video highlight but Utah and all the other good programs that recruited him tells me this is one of the best if not the best quarterback I have ever seen coming to IU.

    1. I agree t,
      An excellent get for IUFB and an obvious admission of a serious deficiency in the QB room if MP is unable to go. Should make for a great competition between the two if Tuttle is eligible. Only question I have is, will there really be an open competition for the QB position this time?

      Other than this, it appears TA is doing exactly what is necessary to keep the program moving forward even if at an incremental pace. Hopefully TA learns his lessons well from the mistakes he makes.

        1. I dunno FS,
          You have an incoming transfer who had been the starter for a program with a much better history than IU prior to injury. After recovering from injury lost job to the backup who was being touted at the time a Heisman candidate. You recruit a highly talented QB from an elite HS program in Florida with all the prerequisite tools to be successful out the gate. Even enrolled early to participate in spring practice in order to be prepared for the fall. You recruit one of the best athletes to come out of the state in recent years who also happened to be a dual threat QB.

          Yet who gets the starting role? The 4th QB candidate who happened to be the only returning QB, and quite frankly, did not set the world on fire the prior season. Yet this QB who has the least capable arm of the 3 remaining in the program (not much better than a D3 arm), and guarantees that your offensive play calling capabilities will be very limited, winds up with the starting role.

          You tell me FS, was that an open competition? Especially in light of the capabilities we saw out of MP in the PSU game. Why did IU pursue a course of guaranteeing a losing season, and not develop their most talented QB prospect properly?

          1. It was an open QB competition and Ramsey won.

            Did the incoming transfer play football last year? No. He quit playing football to concentrate on his “mental health”. And I never saw any comments from the kid saying he was lied to by the coaching staff about getting the starting job so there is no argument there either.

            I don’t think there is any doubt that Penix has the best tools of any QB on the roster. But there was obviously a reason they decided to use this past season as a redshirt year for him to develop mentally and physically. My guess is that he had ball security issues in practice but I wasn’t there so we’ll just have to wonder why the coaching staff didn’t just throw him into the fire from jump street.

            To say Taylor has a better arm than Ramsey is a very big stretch. Have you watched his high school highlight tape? Every deep ball he threw was underthrown and this was a “highlight tape” and not game film.

            Prior to the season, I was one of the bigger haters on Ramsey’s arm strength but I thought his arm strength did improve. Not to say he has a cannon but to say he has a “D-3 arm” is a joke. I think he is pretty comparable to Trace McSorley in terms of arm strength and overall tools.

    2. T,
      Are you not a fan of the 247 composite rankings? I’m not a big fan of ESPN’s rankings. It seems to me like they don’t use a ton of their resources for the recruiting department and are usually behind in the info department compared to other sites.

      1. Fish, you missed the obvious by thinker. Open was not open; TA had tapped Ramsey as the stater before the “competition” began.

  5. Well this was a surprise.

    I did some research on this young man and the reason he is transferring. He apparently left the Utah program back in October, mid way through the season because he was listed third on the depth chart, behind a two year starter who has one more year of eligibility, and another quarterback who has been in the system longer than Tuttle.

    According to one of the articles I read Tuttle’s arm was as strong or stronger as the two individuals in front of him. What he lacked was the mobility the other two possess, a feature the Utah coach strongly desires.

    You can never have enough good quarterbacks in your program, so I am excited to have this young man come to IU. I’m also a bit apprehensive about this young man’s attitude. He comes across a bit as having sour grapes. He apparently enrolled early at Utah, and after having participated in both spring and preseason practices he was unable to unseat the starter or pass the second string quarterback. Coaches don’t care about star ratings, they care about how you perform in their system, and based upon the evaluation of the Utah coaches his performance found him at third on the depth chart.

    How will Tuttle respond if he doesn’t beat out either Ramsey of Penix? Will he pick up his ball and go home if he isn’t named the starter?

    1. That doesn’t sound like what happened at Utah. It sounds like the coaching changed his senior year but he stayed true to his commitment and worked hard with a good attitude.

      The coaching staff changed the parameters. There was no good ending for him in Utah.

      It happens.

  6. Tuttle knows what the Utah staff promised when he was recruited and there’s the 4 game rule for players, and according to a article did extra work after practice and a blow out and no field time. The Utah coaches knew what his physical qualities when they recruited the player. The player deserves a second chance and I wouldn’t want to label anyone, without knowing the person. Nate Sudfield (sp ?) did quite well at I U without any blazing foot speed and passed from the pocket while at I U .

    1. I think when you get a kid with the apparent skills of this guy you make adjustments to your offensive philosophy…if you are smart.

  7. It is time to begin the Tuttle rebuttal…..

    First, his name sounds too much like ‘turtle’….which is only slightly faster than the pace of our football program’s improvement.

  8. As I mentioned on another thread, it just looks like others changed the situation around this kid and he made the smart choice in his own interest.

    I don’t see a negative on his part.

    While I have quit getting excited about quarterbacks who may or may not perform for IU, this is worthy of excitement.

    I, too, am curious about eligibility. He did not play in more than 4 games but the NCAA only allows 5 years to use the 4 years of eligibility. Can he play immediately?

  9. Just watched his senior season highlights. Forty two TDs, 4 ints. He looked fairly mobile, as well.

    If any of his high school receivers are available, recruit them. They had 5 yards of separation on every play.

    Hire his high school OC, too.

  10. This is a good pickup for IUFB at a position that needs an upgrade. We don’t know how Tuttle will do at IU but it is very good to have more competition, not just another QB, on the field. This will test the QBs mental an physical ability which will prepare them for the B1G season.

    Our RB room and QB room will be very competitive in 2019. Our TEs should be competitive if still young. The OL has some talented players that need to show they can step in and be dominate in the B1G IE Jones and others.

    I hope the addition of Tuttle encourages Bell to come to IU.

  11. fish. It is not that I am not a fan of 247, I just use one (in my case espn) for consistency of what I conclude.
    Maybe, it will impact Bell decision. How does having Moore there limit Bell’s career though I am sure Brohm would say it would make it better???

  12. Looking at his high school highlights, he seems to throw better than Ramsey but not as well as Penix. For mobility, he’s not bad but not a guy that going to get a bunch of yards with his feet. Allen is definitely making things happen through recruiting. Whether or not that translates into victories will have to wait but they can only “coach up” so far. Players win or lose and IU is getting better players (although all Big 10 schools are getting better players). Even as jaded as I’ve become on IU Football, this is a nice step in the right direction.

  13. 123, I agree that Tuttle’s arm isn’t as good as Penix’s but he does have a very good arm and in HS only threw 4 INTs as a senior. It is easier to coach up more talented players and getting in more talented players will make the coaching look better. Our 2018 and 2019 classes are looking very good but as you point out 123, the other B1G teams are getting better players too. I just hope our players fit our program and excel in it. I was impressed with the freshman that played this year and leads me to believe they can change this program.

  14. I’m going to proceed cautiously with my enthusiasm regarding this young man’s ability. Yes he was a highly rated quarterback coming out of high school, with impressive statistics, and all the physical intangibles desired in a quarterback. He had an abundance of hype (still does) when he enrolled at Utah and participated in spring and preseason practice, yet after all that he obviously didn’t perform any better than to achieve #3 on the depth chart. That to me is an indication that for all his gaudy stats in high school it hasn’t immediately transferred at the college level, and that he needs to develop as a college quarterback. In reading some of the posts on here and other IU sites I sense that people believe IU is getting a polished, and poised signal caller, when in fact the opposite is true.

    Let’s take a wait and see attitude about Mr. Tuttle. He may end up being the second coming of Joe Montana or John Elway, or he might end up being Penix’s backup for the next four years.

  15. Highlight film can be tricky. His running receivers looked great also. Yes, already recant statement as one of the best if not the best that has come to IU. I jumped the gun. Agree that is wait and see. However, at least welcome addition to qb room.

  16. “Considered the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the country during the 2018 recruiting cycle, according to the 247 Sports composite rankings, the Mission Hills, Calif., native chose Utah over Alabama, LSU and USC. He also earned a spot in the 2017 Elite 11 Finals, a high-profile recruiting showcase that attracts the nation’s top high school prospects.”

    Has IU ever, and I mean EVER, signed a quarterback with that pedigree coming out of High School? I don’t think so. Since he’s rated as a pro-style QB, I don’t expect him to have extremely strong running ability. And I’d rather have a strong-armed and accurate passer than a great runner as a quarterback. Running QBs tend to get injured, so unless you have four of them on the roster, it can be a problem for the offense over the course of a season.

    Having said all that, no one will know how good he is until he gets to play in Big Ten games. But I have confidence that powerhouse coaching staffs like Alabama, LSU and USC recognize great QB talent and potential when they see it. And since those schools all offered him a scholarship, he’s got to have major potential.

    Anybody remember Babe Laufenberg? He was a Parade All-American out of a California H.S., signed with Bill Walsh at Stanford, transferred out when John Elway signed and went to Missouri just after they brought in a coach that ran the veer offense. Babe eventually transferred to IU, where he started for two seasons and set most of IU’s passing records. Graduated from IU and then played as a back-up QB for various NFL teams for about a decade.

    Or how about Nick Foles, last year’s Super Bowl MVP? He bounced around a bit after H.S. too! After breaking all of Drew Brees passing records in High School, he was at MSU for a year before transferring and finally ending up at Arizona.

    When it comes to quarterbacks, it’s not just about physical and/or mental talent. It’s also about the fit with the coaching staff and then getting the opportunity to play. I’m glad Tuttle chose IU and that he has year’s of eligibility ahead of him.

    1. I am of the opinion that having experience in another system is a positive. I have found that being coached in different philosophies always made me better.

      It brings something new to the game.

  17. I also hope that Tuttle is the first of several other transfers that T.A. signs this winter. One school’s third-string bench-warmer is another school’s productive starter.

  18. Doing a little more research on Tuttle, I found it interesting that it appears he only made one campus visit, and that was to Utah. He spurned very aggressive attempts by USC to “flip” him before he signed his LOI, and that’s not easy to resist for a kid from Southern California! Sounds like Tuttle was more devoted to Utah than Utah was to Tuttle. If that was the case, he will arrive in Bloomington with greater maturity and mental toughness. And since the guy who recruited him to Utah has just been hired to be the head coach at Sacramento State, why not transfer back to the state of his birth and where his father played football?

    1. Found this in an article dated October 19, 2018 when Tuttle announced he was leaving the Utah program.

      “Tuttle’s transfer also has some negative effects on the team’s future, aside from the loss of the talent he brought to the position. Utah was pretty committed to Tuttle early on in the recruitment process, and the other prospects that the team let walk was a show of that commitment. The Utes had promised Tuttle that no other quarterbacks would be taken this year, pretty much guaranteeing him a spot in the starting job down the line. In doing this, Utah let slip Zach Wilson, a talented arm out of Corner Canyon High School, who now starts at BYU, and Lehi’s Cammon Cooper, who is slated to take the reigns at Washington State.”

      I don’t know if Tuttle demanded that he be the only quarterback recruited by any of the programs who offered him. If that was the case I could understand why he only visited Utah once before deciding on signing with them if they were the only program to agree to his request. I remember Michigan signed a QB out of high school (Henson was his name) who demanded he be the only quarterback recruited in that class. He didn’t exactly pan out and ended up leaving their program to play baseball in the Yankee organization where he didn’t distinguish himself as a ballplayer either.

      1. At Michigan, Drew Henson split time with a fella by the name of Tom Brady. But eventually, Brady just won the job outright. After Brady graduated from Michigan, Henson was 2 year starter there. He had a solid college career. He never left Michigan.

        His career in baseball was worse than Tim Tebow’s. His NFL career was clipboard holder extraordinaire.

  19. I think there’s a real chance he starts the season as the 3rd string quarterback given Penix’s arm and Ramsey’s experience. No matter what happens, a pretty good quarterback is going to be 3rd string. Might be tough to keep all 3 happy.

  20. If he looks like a bust then the NCAA will allow him to play immediately. If he looks promising, then they will re-invoke the Phil Dickens “death penalty” to put IU “where it belongs”. Sincerely, Woodrow Hayes.

  21. This is a great recruiting job by Tom Allen and Mike Debord, but did I miss something, I was of the opinion that Tom Allen and Mike Debord wanted a “Dual-threat” quarterback. An if I remember correctly Mike Debord had all kinds of problems running the offense with Richard Lagow (Pro Style) and Patrick Ramsey (Dual-Threat) as quarterback. From the look of the highlight films Jack Tuttle looks to be a little better than Richard Lagow but below/subpar to Nat Sudfeld. Now with this stable of quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers we should be able to see the Mike Debord offense in full capacity the next couple of years (few to no excuses). I am still amazed that Jeff Brohm of Purdue and PJ Pleck at Minnesota can come in and change their programs around with other coaches recruit/players and Indiana has to wait three years on Tom Allen to get his player/recruits into their systems or scheme. Hopefully “LEO” starts working or leading to more wins this year.

    1. 79,
      I thought that to be a curious item as well. Why a Pro Style when a Dual Threat is your best opportunity at this point?

    2. IU79, exactly what I recall about the TAllen preference for dual-threat QBs. But “take talent when you can get it” is also a “plan.”

  22. The reason IU takes qb that is somewhat highly rated like this one whether pro style or dual threat is because IU takes what they can get. Even if a modification of philosophy… beggars can’t be choosers.
    Although good not a high 4 or 5 star, rather another cog in the wheel turning the IU football program into what? A couple years down the road will tell.

  23. Pretty surprised how down some of you are on this news. This is the highest rated QB in Indiana HISTORY. The ESPN ratings are a joke. They’re composites. The other sites actually have scouts. This kid is legit and we’re so depleted at the position. Who knows how Penix’s knee is going to heal. He might get a redshirt and another medical redshirt if he’s not ready next year.

    I hope after signing day, we get news that Debord is going to take a break to spend more time with his family. I think Allen needs someone a little more imaginative in that role.

  24. I for one think this is excellent news for IU. Not down on this recruiting news at all. Espn ratings are legitimate and Tuttle had good rating by espn. I disagree that espn ratings are a joke. I agree qb help has been, is, and will be needed in future. Qbs that are recruited by elite or even top programs have a lot of help by talented teammates. However, it doesn’t change reality.

  25. I am not sure this recruit is the highest rated all alone by himself. However, I would say that he is definitely one of a small handful meaning top 4 or 5 or so (give or take) that has ever committed to IU. Example, Sudfeld was a low 4 star.

  26. What’s not to love about Tuttle signing with IU? He’s not a “dual threat QB” or even a “running QB,” but neither is PR. But Tuttle moves a lot better than Richard Lagow ever did. Just watch his tapes.

    Forget about star ratings or whose rating system is more accurate, just look at the fact that Tuttle was highly recruited and received offers from AL, LSU, USC, Wisconsin, Boston College, WSU, and other top 20 programs known for having quality QBs. You don’t get an offer from Alabama, LSU and USC unless those elite coaching staffs believe you have lots of potential. You don’t get an offer from WSU unless Leach believes you’re can be an effective passer. Tuttle is a home run for IU!

    Tuttle was a great HS QB who played at the highest level of HS Football in the state of California. If he’d played HS football in Indiana, he’d have been the number one ranked player in the state and probably in the Midwest Region.

    Assuming Penix needs a full year to recover, and assuming T.A. does not have another brain cramp next August, Tuttle should be IU’s starter by the third game of the 2019 season. Then going forward, the battle for who becomes IU’s starting QB should be between Tuttle and Penix, with PR as the experienced back-up. If that scenario becomes reality, I could see PR becoming a grad -transfer after the 2019 season is complete. Or perhaps he’ll stay on at IU in order to progress toward becoming a coach like his father.

  27. Tuttle listed as a drop back QB is the same designation Penix had coming from HS. The staff isn’t really interested in DT QBs but QBs with mobility to hurt defenses if they drop too many in coverage or lock on man to man running up the field.

    I don’t look at star ratings as much as I do about the programs going after a players and Tuttle is a home run based on school wanting him coming out of HS. I just like to see IU having very good QBs instead of a nearly empty QB room of scholarship QBs. The competition will make each QB better including their mental toughness. If Tuttle is eligible it will give IU some breathing space if Penix needs more time to recover from his knee injury.

    No matter what happens I expect Ramsey to stay at IU and finish out his career preparing to become a football coach. I think it is exciting to add Tuttle and see how the competition plays out between the three QBs. Just think last year we were one play away from going with a walk on QB with limited talent against B!G teams. As I watched the Bucket game and others the difference in losing instead of winning those games was the QB, yes IU had other shortcomings. Every B1G team we played, except for Rutgers, had an older more talented QB than we did. That will be changing in the next couple of years.

  28. I don’t know where to put this, but I just saw that Terry Hutchens was in a really bad car accident. Critical condition. He’s been a staple in my Indiana sports diet since almost the beginning. This is just horrible. I hope he pulls out of this.

  29. Double Down I too hope he recovers but the news doesn’t sound good as he didn’t respond to CPR at the accident and then once again at the hospital. Right now I guess he is alive but suffering seizures they haven’t been able to stop. It is sad news but a good recovery would soften the blow of hearing about this accident.

  30. The police report, it sounds like he had a health issue which led to the crash. “Appears he never hit the brakes”. However the cause, sad news.

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