"Shy is so big and strong kid to be so young," North Davidson head coach Mark Holcomb said. "He moves real well to be as big as he is. He's an aggressive kid, who enjoys playing the game. He has a good motor – he practices hard and plays hard.
"He's a hardworking kid in the weight room, which has helped him put on 25 pounds of good weight since his freshmen year. His speed has stayed about the same since his freshmen year, but he's gotten stronger."
"Being that big and that young, he has tremendous upside. He is just going to be stronger and just going to get bigger. He's not even shaving yet, so he might have another inch in him. He could probably play at 320 pounds and still be pretty effective."
Since the first game of his freshman season, Tuttle has started on North Davidson's defensive line, rotating between nose tackle and three- and five-techniques.
"We have an all-conference guy who's an outside guy that we put on one side to prevent teams from checking away from Shy's side," Holcomb said. "We try to use him like a moving target. We'll substitute a kid in and move Shy outside and then substitute a kid in and move Shy inside."
Tuttle concluded his sophomore campaign with 88 tackles, including 17 for a loss and 17 sacks. He also forced a few fumbles where two of them were recovered by a teammate.
Taking advantage of his athleticism, Tuttle was plugged into North Davidson's short-yardage package at fullback. In those situations, he carried the ball six times scoring five touchdowns.
"It started off as him being a lead blocker as a fullback," Holcomb said. "And then we started to give it to him a couple of times and he started to score touchdowns. He's fairly agile – he's not a big 300-pound glob. He can move a little bit. He enjoys it, but he's not going to be starting at tailback or anything like that. I told him he needs to take it from the [opposing] offense if he wants to get the ball."
"I hope I have a bigger role in the offense next year," Tuttle said.
Despite being just a sophomore, Tuttle has received seven scholarship offers – Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wake Forest. He is also receiving interest from Alabama and Notre Dame.
"When you look at him, he passes the eye test," Holcomb said. "We have a lot of good players here that look good on film, but when you meet them in person they either are not tall enough or not big enough. When you watch his film, he plays a lot harder and a lot faster to be a 300-pound kid that you would think. I think a lot of people like the fact that he makes plays not only down the line-of-scrimmage but all over."
Tuttle has been overwhelmed by the attention.
"I thought about it a couple of weeks ago and I'm very thankful," Tuttle said. "To tell you the truth, I don't know how to act. I feel like I have to pinch myself to see if it's real. When I was a kid I used to watch college games all the time. To get offered by them is just ‘Wow.'"
Following Tuttle's participation in the Tar Heels' summer camp, UNC became the first school to offer.
"[UNC] likes him a lot," Holcomb said. "Coach Fedora and Coach Kap are supposed to come by [on Wednesday]… [Tuttle] is still early in this process, but I think he likes Carolina and likes Coach Kap – Coach Kap is a good man. [Kapilovic] is very honest with Shy and with us."
Tuttle made two return trips to UNC. He attended the UNC-Idaho and the UNC-Virginia Tech games.
"I like the campus," Tuttle said. "There's just something about the campus that I really like. And it's close to home."
Despite the positive sentiments, it's too soon for Tuttle to anoint favorite schools.
"I like them all," Tuttle said. "Academics are going to be important and knowing that my mom can travel to my games and get home safe. I want my friends and family to watch me play."
Besides UNC, Tuttle has visited Alabama, Clemson, NC State, and Wake Forest.
Tuttle's older brother, Tevin, will prep at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy this fall. Shy says he'd liked to play with his brother in college, but they aren't necessarily a package deal. His uncle, Perry, played football at Clemson, but says that won't factor into his recruitment. "[My uncle] tells me it's my own decision," Tuttle said… Growing up, Tuttle didn't root for a specific college, but was simply a college football fan. If anything, he says he has found himself rooting for the underdog.