Stephon Tuitt drops ND for Jackets

Notre Dame has corralled a surprising number of verbal commitments from top-flight defensive recruits as National Signing Day nears, managing to change a number of minds along the way. But the Fighting Irish were dealt a massive blow Tuesday when their second-highest rated player switched hats.

ESPN four-star defensive end Stephon Tuitt went to Georgia Tech on an official visit this past weekend and decided that is where he wants to stay.

Tuitt (6-foot-5, 260), the No. 12 DE in the country from Monroe, Ga., originally committed to Notre Dame in September and was a critical piece of a 2011 Irish class that was topped off recently by fellow star ends Aaron Lynch and Ishaq Williams, both of whom enrolled early and began classes Tuesday.

If Georgia Tech manages to get Tuitt's signature, it will be arguably the biggest signing in program history.

Wes Morgan covers Notre Dame football for ESPNChicago.com.