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Tuttle Time

Indiana’s former team captain will be on the other sideline tomorrow.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Minnesota Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Tuttle was never given a real chance.

Indiana brought in Tuttle as a redshirt freshman transfer from Utah ahead of the 2019 season. He had family connections to the Hoosiers and was a former Elite 11 quarterback.

He was third on the depth chart during his first year in Bloomington and the backup in 2020 following Peyton Ramsey’s transfer to Northwestern. He earned the start against Wisconsin following an injury to Michael Penix Jr and led the Hoosiers to a win in Madison.

He was a backup again in 2021 and seemed primed for the starting spot as a senior in 2022 following Penix’s decision to enter the transfer portal.

Tuttle was a beloved member of Indiana’s locker room. Any member of Indiana’s roster or coaching staff absolutely raved about him if given the opportunity to do so. He was even named a team captain in 2022.

He was there through thick and thin, the heights of 2020 and the lows of 2021, ultimately choosing to stick around.

Spending three seasons climbing the depth chart and earning Indiana arguably its best win of that historic 2020 season (Wisconsin was the sole opponent Indiana beat to finish with a winning record) was no easy feat.

That opportunity went to waste. Indiana brought in another quarterback through the transfer portal and slogged through another rough season that again featured change at the position.

It got to the point that Tuttle entered the transfer portal midseason on Oct. 17... and still ended up starting during a home game against Penn State that he’d ultimately leave with an injury.

To be very clear here: Tuttle agreed to start a game despite actively being in the transfer portal and he did so for the good of the team. I don’t believe Tuttle was given a fair opportunity to be Indiana’s leader on and off the field.

Tuttle, and fellow team captain AJ Barner, left Indiana that offseason to transfer to Michigan. The Wolverines had and have an entrenched starter at the position in five star J.J. McCarthy.

That decision speaks volumes. Two team captains not just leaving, but going to a conference opponent that Indiana plays every single year.

For this, you absolutely cannot blame Tuttle. Every decision made by Indiana’s coaching staff, from bringing in a transfer in the first place despite the locker room’s overwhelming support for him, to relegating him to the backup role and ultimately calling his number only when absolutely necessary, gave the clear impression of the lack of belief in him.

For all he did for the program, he deserved better than that. Sincerely, I can only wish him success in future endeavors moving forward. That could end up being a Big Ten championship, maybe even a national title, with Michigan.

Tuttle Time was fun for Indiana’s fans while it lasted.