An already accomplished running back, Tuten was a third-team FCS All-American as a sophomore last year for North Carolina A&T, where he ran for 1,363 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 31 receptions for 342 yards, including four additional touchdowns. His commitment to Virginia Tech earlier this year facilitated strong chemistry with the coaching staff since his transfer.
“Thinking of all my relationships with teammates and coaches and everyone so far has been amazing,” Tuten said. “They are great people, and it’s a great place to be.”
Under the guidance of newly-appointed running back coach Elijah Brooks, Tuten has showcased his versatility, accumulating 20 receptions for 204 receiving yards and 360 rushing yards with five total touchdowns through seven games.
“Coach Brooks came here with me,” Tuten commented. “He’s a tremendous leader and coach. He’s coached players at a higher level, so it’s a positive learning from him and just hearing his feedback.”
As a dynamic running back known for his relentless work ethic, Tuten has garnered two consecutive ACC Player of the Week honors for his performances against Pitt and Florida State.
“My mindset going forward is to just keep working,” Tuten reflected. “Back-to-back weeks is a great milestone, but I always look at it like I can get it again, so it’s always a positive. It’s humbling too to show that I can achieve that goal, and that’s my goal every week.”
In recognition of his performance against Pitt, the junior tailback was awarded ACC Running Back of the Week, achieving a season-high 109 rushing yards and contributing four receptions, including a 12-yard receiving touchdown.
In the following week against Florida State, Tuten set a record for the longest kick return in the conference this season, covering an impressive 99 yards for a touchdown and securing ACC Specialist of the Week honors.
“It started out in practice,” Tuten stated. “We drilled the kickoff returns at full speed, so I think that’s a big reason why I was able to take it the full 99 yards. Coach Stu Holt has a great game plan with the kickoff returns, the counters and the blockers we have.”
Returning to Blacksburg for a face-off against Wake Forest, Tuten maintained his offensive prowess by scoring a 3-yard touchdown, marking the game’s opening score and becoming the first No. 25 recipient to achieve this feat since wide receiver Tre Turner in 2021.
Tuten’s rapid rise as a game-changing force for Virginia Tech demonstrates his dynamic skills, relentless work ethic and impact on the team. His impressive performances and accolades are a testament to his potential and the excitement he brings to Tech football.