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Stephon Tuitt vows to return for senior year (Or did he?)

Stanford v Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 13: Stephon Tuitt #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates the final play of the game against the Standford Cardinal at Notre Dame Stadium on October 13, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Stanford 20-13 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Michael Floyd. Tyler Eifert. Manti Te’o. Louis Nix. All elite Notre Dame players who decided to return for their senior season and get their degree at Notre Dame. It appears Stephon Tuitt looks like he’s on the way towards joining that club, according to the Notre Dame student newspaper, The Observer.

Assistant Managing Editor of The Observer Matthew DeFranks posted a story that should make Irish fans very happy, with the 6-foot-6, 322-pound defensive end announcing he’ll be returning to school.

“I’m coming back next year,” Tuitt told The Observer. “I’m a junior. I still have one year.”

News spread quickly across Twitter as DeFranks’ story was retweeted over 100 times. With Tuitt unavailable to the media this week, the Observer scored the scoop thanks to their weekly “Insider” piece that’ll be running in tomorrow’s student paper.

Throwing a curve ball in the proceedings, Tuitt briefly posted a Tweet that seemed to refute the report, writing, “Can’t Believe everything you read. Goodnight.” Yet Tuitt deleted the tweet minutes later.

I reached out to DeFranks tonight, who confirmed that he has audio of Tuitt saying he’ll return for his senior year twice in an interview. The senior Finance major with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy filed his story late Wednesday night, likely confirming a huge boost to the future of the Irish defense.

Tuitt has until the end of January to officially make his decision, but if he returns he’ll pair with Sheldon Day to provide bookends that’ll surrounding an uncertain nose guard position and a front seven that’ll need to replace three starting linebackers as well.