Notre Dame's Stephon Tuitt says decision will come after season

The will-he-go-pro-or-won't-he-go-pro soap opera surrounding Notre Dame junior defensive end Stephon Tuitt took another turn Wednesday.

Last week, Tuitt told the Notre Dame student newspaper he would return for his senior season. The next day, his mother told the Chicago Tribune her son had misspoke. Wednesday night, Tuitt tried to explain everything to irishillustrated.com.

"It didn't come out the way I wanted it to come out," Tuitt said. "I was basically just focusing on that week of play; I was focusing on the game. How I answered that was in a rush. I wasn't really thinking."

Tuitt (6-foot-6, 312 pounds) is considered by some analysts as the No. 2 defensive end in the nation, behind South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney.

Tuitt is coming off his best game of the season; he had seven tackles, two sacks, two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup as the Irish edged USC last Saturday.

Tuitt said he will talk about his future "with Coach [Brian] Kelly and my mom. It's something I'll pray about, and after the season, I'll have the opportunity to do that."

Tuitt has five sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, 25 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and nine quarterback hurries this season.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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