After months of anticipation, J.T. Tuimoloau’s recruitment is now less than 24 hours away from wrapping up.
247Sports announced Saturday that Tuimoloau, the wire-to-wire No. 1 recruit in the class of 2021, will announce his commitment exclusively with CBSSports HQ on Sunday, July 4 at 4 p.m. ET and 1 p.m. PT.
Tuimoloau is slated to pick between a group of finalists consisting of Ohio State, Oregon, USC and Washington. Tuimoloau recently concluded his June official visit schedule with a trip to Oregon and took official visits to all of his finalists before the month concluded. The 6-foot-5, 277-pound defensive lineman was also supposed to take an official visit to Alabama in June, but ultimately decided against making the trip to Tuscaloosa, eliminating the Crimson Tide from his recruitment.
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Washington received Tuimoloau’s first official visit on June 4 before he shut things down for a week because of his high school graduation. Tuimoloau has been busy over the last 10 days, visiting USC from June 14-16, Ohio State from June 17-20 and Oregon on the second to last weekend of June.
Official visits were a sticking point for Tuimoloau throughout his recruitment. The Washington native was not prepared to offer a commitment to any institution until he had the chance to officially visit their campus, which finally came this month after the NCAA recruiting dead period ended after nearly 15 months.
With Alabama officially out of the picture, Ohio State profiles as the favorite to land Tuimoloau. His 247Sports Crystal Ball has read in favor of the Buckeyes for months now and his relationship with the coaching staff in Columbus is a solid one.
“Coach Larry Johnson and the history he has had with putting defensive lineman in the league really sticks out to me and I have always had a close relationship with Gee Scott,” Tuiomoloau said of Ohio State, per 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman.
Wherever he winds up, Tuiomoloau will ascend to the college ranks with the chance to make an instant impact.
Tuiomoloau is polished as a pass rusher and run stopper. He also possesses a high football I.Q, plays with an endless motor and is a freak athlete, making him a prospect any coaching staff around the country would love to get their hands on.
“Powerful, athletic and nimble, with room to still add significant weight at the next level,” Huffman said in his scouting report of Tuiomoloau. “Has lined up on the edge, mixing with hand down while also standing up. Elite pass rusher, who can mix a variety of moves with pure strength to shed his blockers. Can drop into coverage against running backs, receivers and tight ends and has the athleticism and ball skills to be a force in coverage. Has even played safety.
“Could be a top tight end prospect if he focused on offense, with natural pass-catching skills, ability to track the ball and high point it and run after the catch. Also a high-major basketball player, averaging nearly a double-double in prep career. As he continues to add weight and strength, figures to be among the elite pass-rushers at the next level. Projects as an instant impact Power 5-starter and a Top Ten overall draft pick.”
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