There are no guarantees in the current college recruiting climate, but highly touted four-star quarterback and University of Utah commit Jack Tuttle appears to be from the school of "my word is my bond."
Tuttle, a 6-foot-4, 202-pound San Diego resident, enters his senior season at Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, Calif., regarded as one of the best high school quarterbacks in the nation. He's rated a top eight "pro style" quarterback by 247Sports and Rivals. His Mission Hills team will host St. George's Desert Hills High in its second game of the season.
Tuttle reaffirmed his commitment to the Utes this past week after an offseason circuit showcasing himself alongside other top players from across the nation. He continues to rebuff rival schools, and he already has established a budding kinship with new Utes offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Troy Taylor.
"When it came down to deciding, it was really about trust, family and can that school go win a national championship," Tuttle said during a phone interview. "Utah checks all those boxes."
Tuttle, 18, committed to the Utes following his junior season. He plans to sign a National Letter of Intent during the NCAA's newly implemented early football signing period, which starts Dec. 20. He also said he wants to graduate early from high school and enroll at Utah in the winter so he can take part in spring practices next year.
Utah's staff cannot comment on Tuttle before his signing per NCAA rules.
When asked about powerhouse programs USC and Alabama reportedly still recruiting him, Tuttle said he still hears regularly from coaches. The recruiting is not as nonstop as it once was, and Tuttle so far has refused to go on any other visits.
"I take that seriously," Tuttle said. "It's a two-way street, and when you're committed, I believe that trust is a big factor. You don't go off and visit other places if you're truly committed to that school and they're truly committed to you."
Tuttle couldn't think of anything that would change his mind aside from the Utah coaching staff leaving or backing out of its scholarship offer.
"I believe that's the place I'm going to go to unless something catastrophic happens," he said.
Tuttle earned a spot in the Elite 11 finals (12 quarterbacks were selected from a national pool) as well as The Opening, a four-day Nike Football event held in Beaverton, Ore., featuring the top 166 high school football players in the U.S. and a 7-on-7 tournament.
The Elite 11 multi-day quarterback "campetition" headed by former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer combines skill development, competition and NFL pro day-style workouts. Tuttle had a strong showing during the Elite 11 regional and an up-and-down performance during the finals.
Barton Simmons, the director of football scouting for 247Sports, saw Tuttle compete during the Elite 11 regional and finals. He described Tuttle as a "complete package" of physical ability, including arm strength, presence in the pocket, strength and athleticism. Tuttle also impressed the Elite 11 coaches and counselors off the field.
"You talk to the Elite 11 coaches that are going through the process with those guys and getting on chalkboard with them, getting in the film room with them, and they told me that Jack was really the clear No. 1 in terms of a guy that is smart on the board and focused in that part of the game," Simmons said. "He was a 10 out of 10 behind the scenes. Those things combined with the physical tools, I think, is a really good indicator for success long term."
At one point the counselors surprised the quarterbacks by collecting their notebooks to see what kind of notes they'd been taking. "Jack apparently had just an exponential amount of notes compared to the other guys and was just engrossed by it," Simmons said.
Tuttle shares that intense focus with the Utes' new offensive coordinator. Taylor, a former record-setting QB at Cal, has a reputation for devouring game film and constantly diagramming plays.
"I think we definitely are similar in that aspect," Tuttle said. "That's what I think is actually real cool. We're alike and like-minded, and I like to think that's one of the reasons we can strive together and win some football games."
Tuttle, who used the summer camp circuit to try to recruit other top players for the Utes, believes the offense will open up and "explode" under Taylor. Tuttle certainly expects to be the one with his hand on the detonator.