The fastest time is what matters most to Tutu Atwell.
When the wide receiver for Louisville football is timed while running the 40-yard dash, the stopwatches are ready to go.
Atwell ran a 4.38 40-yard dash on his first attempt last year. On his second try, coaches recorded him at 4.33, with the exception of team chaplain Chris Morgan, who timed Atwell at 4.27.
“He [Morgan] had the fastest time, so that’s what I tell people,” Atwell said.
The 5-foot-9 junior’s speed is his greatest asset.
He led the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in receiving yards and touchdowns last season during a breakout sophomore year.
Atwell, who finished with 1,276 receiving yards last year, was the first Louisville receiver to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a single season since 2007. His 12 touchdown catches tied a school record.
Atwell attributed his big-play threat to his quickness.
“It’s me knowing what I will do, the defender doesn’t know what I will do,” Atwell said. “It’s just me using my quickness and trying to get by the defender.”
He earned Pro Football Focus first team All-American honors and was named first team All-ACC after finishing with 100 or more receiving yards in seven games in 2019.
In his first season playing under head coach Scott Satterfield’s offense, Atwell proved his playmaking ability.
“Coach Satterfield uses all his weapons,” Atwell said. “Out of all the weapons, I am one of them.”
After playing quarterback in high school, the Miami native switched to wide receiver at the college level. He had 24 receptions and 406 yards as a freshman in 2018.
He gained confidence and knowledge of the position as found success.
“I took it a little more serious,” Atwell said. “I know I can play this position.”