When college coaches recruit Indiana, one of their first stops is to the office of Warren Central head coach Steve Tutsie. Tutsie is used to the rush of recruiters, and he has a couple players that are already receiving a lot of attention. One of them is junior tight end, Edward Hazelett (6-foot-9, 265 pounds).
"He's got 17 offers already," coach Tutsie responded when asked about the recruiting attention Hazelett was receiving. "I probably won't remember them all, but Boston College just offered him yesterday. Mississippi, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Virginia, and West Virginia are the main schools that have offered.
"Florida, LSU, USC, everybody is writing him letters. I think colleges have taken notice of him, because we're a nationally ranked program and they know the way we run our program. We've had 25 Division I players over the last seven years.
"We took Ed to some combines as a freshman, and then again last summer," coach Tutsie said. "I'd say that's when he started attracting interest. We've taken him to the Nike combines at Purdue and Ohio State, and then we took him to the Scout combine that was held in Louisville. He also went to the Ohio State summer football camp. I think people also know that we run the football. He can always get better at blocking, but he already knows how to block. I'd say most tight ends run pretty good routes, but they don't block real well, and Ed does that."
Notre Dame has a history of producing tight ends and Hazelett is on the Irish radar."Notre Dame has been sending him mail and they have expressed interest in him," coach Tutsie said. "I've spoken with Corwin Brown several times about Ed. I would think they would offer him fairly soon.
"He hasn't been up to Notre Dame yet. We were scheduled to go up there, but we ended up going to the Kentucky-Florida game that weekend, because both of those schools are recruiting him."
Although Hazelett started as a sophomore, he still needed time to grow into his body. Tutsie has seen the improvement from last year to this year, but there is still work to be done.
"He's definitely made strides from last year," coach Tutsie explained. "He's had a full year in the weight room, which has helped him mentally, and he just needs to keep getting tougher. He needs to keep getting better physically. He's has to get quicker, faster and stronger. Obviously all that is done in the weight room and those are the things we'll work with him on. We lift during the day, and he did well last year, but this is a big year for him.
"He's got good hands, but I think the jury is still out on that a little bit. We really don't throw a lot, even though Ed's got a couple catches. We really ask him to block for us. We've rushed for almost 5,000 yards so far this year. Our tight ends have to be able to block.
"The college is going to have to decide what position is the best fit, that's why his junior campaign is so important for developing his speed and hands. He is a fairly mobile guy right now, he just needs to keep developing. I imagine that he'll probably commit before the start of the next football season, at least that's what we'd encourage him to do, so he can put that aside and then focus on our season. "
Coach Tutsie has another junior that has also received a lot of attention from Notre Dame.
"Eric Williams (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) is a running back, safety, athlete-type guy that Notre Dame is also interested in," coach Tutsie said. "He plays half-back for us. He's a slasher with some 'shake and bake.' He's a very good athlete. He punts for us. He's a state-placed winner in track. He's just an all-around great athlete. He has played some safety, but we're a two-platoon program.
"He really could project as a running back or a safety. I'm a defensive guy, so I'm probably the wrong person to ask, but I think he's the ideal safety. He can run and he can hit. He's tall. He's a guy that can come down in the box and play. He's a physical kid and he's fast. That's the thing about him is that he's fast. He has very good instincts. He likes to come up and hit as well.
"Notre Dame has some tape on him playing safety," Tutsie said. "He went to the USC-Notre Dame game. Eric's No. 1 choice is probably Notre Dame at this time. They want to see junior tape and they want to see these guys come up and work out in May. I think both of those guys could get Notre Dame offers."