August 2, 1959 |
|NFL draft||1982 / Round: 1 / Pick 19|
|1984||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|1986–1991||Winnipeg Blue Bombers|
|Career highlights and awards|
Perry Tuttle is a former Clemson football standout in the early 1980s. His career continued into the National Football League (Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Atlanta Falcons) and Canadian Football League (Winnipeg Blue Bombers). Now, he is known for his inspirational speaking, sports marketing, and sports ministry.
Perry Warren Tuttle was born on August 2, 1959 in Lexington, North Carolina to Russell Samuel and Betty Mae Tuttle. He attended North Davidson High School and was a standout player throughout his high school career. His successes in high school led to his recruitment by and later him attending Clemson University.
The prime of Tuttle's football career was during his three seasons (1978-1981) at Clemson University. As of the 2008 Clemson football season, Tuttle ranks 2nd all-time for touchdown receptions with 17, 2nd all-time for receiving yards with 2,534, 4th all-time for receptions with 150, and 9th all-time yards per catch with 16.82. Tuttle caught the winning touchdown pass in the 1981 Orange Bowl, which secured the National Championship for the Tigers. His celebration after the TD catch in the 3rd quarter, arms outstretched above his head with ball in hand, made the cover of the January 11, 1982 edition of Sports Illustrated with the caption stating, “Orange Bowl Hero Perry Tuttle of Clemson.” In 1991, Clemson added Tuttle to their Hall of Fame, and in 1996, he was named as a member of Clemson’s Centennial team. Later in 1999, “a panel of historians ranked Tuttle as the 14th best player in Clemson football history.”
On April 27, 1982, the 6 foot, 178 pound, Tuttle was selected in the first round (19th overall) of the NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. It was in Buffalo that Tuttle spent the majority of his three seasons in the NFL. For the two seasons that he spent with the Bills, Tuttle had 24 receptions for 375 yards and 3 touchdowns. Between 1982 and 1983, the latter year was his most productive season. He averaged 15.4 yards a catch on 17 receptions for 264 total yards. After his two seasons in with the Bills, his career in the NFL took a major decline. Due to a very short time with the Buccaneers, Tuttle did not post any stats in Tampa Bay. And later, while in Atlanta, he only played in 5 games which led to only minimal stat production, 1 reception for 7 yards.
In 1986, Tuttle began his 6-season career in Canadian Football League with Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Throughout his time with the Bombers, he caught 321 passes for 5,817 yards for 41 touchdowns. On November 25, 1990 at B.C Place Stadium in Vancouver, the Bombers (12-6) defeated the Edmonton Eskimos, 50- 11, to win the Grey Cup Championship, the equivalent to the Super Bowl in the NFL. The Bombers quarterback Tom Burgess awarded the Offensive Most Value Player honor and linebacker Greg Battle was named Defensive Most Valuable Player. In the third quarter of the game, Tuttle caught a 60-yard pass that later led to his 5-yard touchdown catch. Two seasons after the Blue Bombers championship win, in 1992, Tuttle ended his football career and moved his family back to North Carolina (Charlotte). A few years after his retirement, Tuttle was once again recognized for his outstanding football talent with an induction into the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Hall of Fame.