As the highest rated quarterback out of high school to ever attend Indiana, Jack Tuttle is adjusting to life in Bloomington as any IU student would.
Through meeting classmates, learning bus routes, and going to Mother Bear’s for the first time, Tuttle has begun the assimilation process after redshirting his first collegiate season at Utah.
Based on an Alabama offer, 4-star rating, and time on a PAC-12 campus, Tuttle will have high expectations under center with the Hoosiers. On Wednesday, he met with the IU media for the first time.
“First and foremost, I was looking for where could I continue my academic career, where can I continue just being happy, and playing ball. It worked out with Coach Sheridan and Coach Allen and I decided to come to IU,” Tuttle said.
Despite being with the team for about two weeks now, Tuttle’s adjustment to football in Bloomington has been slowed by Indiana’s offensive coordinator opening. Mike DeBord retired on December 30th after two seasons calling the plays on offense. Head coach Tom Allen has begun the interview process, but is still searching for his next offensive scheme.
For a new quarterback, or any quarterback for that matter, beginning preparations for the 2019 season without an offensive system is challenging.
“In many cases for players it would be,” Tuttle said of the difficulties of adjusting to a new team without knowing the offensive coordinator. “But here it’s not just because we trust Coach Allen and I know we trust Coach Sheridan and the rest of the coaching staff that they’ll make the right choice. We’re behind each other no matter what. Just being here for two weeks I can already tell that all the players on board.”
IU quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan played the largest role in recruiting Tuttle to Bloomington, along with head coach Tom Allen.
“First I communicated with Coach Sheridan and Coach Allen,” Tuttle said. “Those guys had the same attitude I did. They want to win, really bad. They’re really down to earth, great guys. When I came here for my visit, I talked to Coach Ballou, Coach Rhea, those guys are on point. Like I said before those guys are phenomenal coaches, and they’re getting us right. I can tell you that right now.”
The first visit Tuttle took to IU after announcing he would transfer out of Utah came in November for the Hoosiers’ season finale against Purdue. According to Tuttle, visiting for the Purdue game came almost spur of the moment. Tuttle said he and his family didn’t know where they would be going each weekend as they visited schools.
Under NCAA transfer policy, players must sit out a year before being eligible to play. Tuttle did not throw a single pass at Utah, and is thus applying for a waiver to become immediately eligible. Both Tuttle and IU have not provided any update to his waiver status.
Tuttle arrived to Bloomington on January 2nd to get settled in, and his first task, like other students, “was just about learning everyone’s name,” Tuttle said. He’s quickly learned not just their names, but about his teammates on and off the field.
Tuttle’s father went to IU, and played on the football team under the late Bill Mallory. Tuttle wore a hat featuring a patch that read “Coach Mallory” honoring the former Hoosiers’ head coach.
If he is able to play in 2019, Tuttle will be thrust into a quarterback competition including incumbent starter Peyton Ramsey and redshirt freshman Michael Penix, who took a redshirt for the 2018 season after tearing his ACL against Penn State. Penix is still recovering from the injury and is not expected to be 100 percent until summer practice.
“I’m going to give this team everything I’ve got,” Tuttle said. “I hate losing. I absolutely hate losing. I hate it more than I love winning. I think that’s the kind of attitude I bring here. I think a lot of guys are onboard with that idea.”