The Red Wolves coaching staff is out in force as they try to shore up the recruiting class. Four coaches were in Mississippi today to check in on Brennan Tutor, a 6-foo-5, 285-pound offensive lineman, who started the last two years at Itawamba Community College.
"Coach Grimes was here in the morning," said Brennan Tutor. "He kind of laid everything out for me. He said that nothing has changed since Malzahn's left. They still want me there asked if I would still come. I told him I gladly would and that I'm 100-percent committed [to Arkansas State]. Coach Thompson and Coach Drinkwitz flew in this evening and Coach Woods met them at the airport and drove over with them.
"I've developed good relationships with Coach Woods and Coach Grimes. Hopefully, they'll still be there when I'm there. The facilities are very nice, probably the best in the Sun Belt Conference. I loved the campus too. At junior college we have small class sizes and it's the same there. You get to know your teacher and your classmates a little better in a smaller class. It's just a great environment in Jonesboro to be in."
Tutor was a graduate of Pontotoc (Miss.) High School in 2010. After a red shirt season, he became a fixture on the offensive line at tackle for the past two seasons for the Itawamba Indians.
"Going from high school to junior college," he said, "you can really see quick the game is. You get a good feel for the speed of the game. I'm not sure how fast it's going to be at Arkansas State, but we play against a lot of good guys with top Division 1 offers. The coaches believe, and I agree, that Mississippi Junior College is the toughest in the nation. Having played at that level is going to help me a lot going forward.
"I started out at right tackle, but moved to left tackle this season. I improved a lot in my pass set. The coaches recruiting me all liked my pass protection. My blocking in the run game and footwork are also a lot better."
As a sophomore, Tutor was selected First Team MACJC All-State. He'll graduate this December and be on campus in January and start preparing for the next stage of his playing career with the Red Wolves.
"Hopefully I can workout and get bigger before spring," said Tutor. "I don't think 285 (pounds) is going to cut it, so my plan is to get my body stronger and add bulk. The coaches told me I'm going to have a good chance to start at right tackle. I just have to go out and earn it.
"I'm looking forward to working with Coach Grimes. He's a laid-back guy. He's someone who lays it out there for you and is not going to lie to you. He's straight-forward in his approach. I think I'm going to learn a lot from him. He's an excellent technician."
Although the Itawamba Indians missed a bowl game, Tutor said the highlight of his season was a win over East Mississippi in their last game breaking EMCC's 20 game winning streak.