After only a solid five-plus month saga after National Signing Day of wondering what he will do, the J.T. Tuimoloau Ohio State era finally begins. He may be cutting it close considering the rest of the Class of 2021 has committed and many have already enrolled and have been practicing.
Considering how highly touted he is, it only makes sense that he does his due diligence in deciding his future. He chose the Buckeyes over closer schools like Oregon, USC, and Washington.
He is the highest-rated defensive recuit to ever sign with the Buckeyes.
A Long Time Coming: The J.T. Tuimoloau Ohio State Saga Begins!
It was heavily hinted within the recruiting world that Ohio State had the lead almost the entire time, but when he canceled his visit to Alabama, it seemed set in stone. So, what does the 247Sports number one-overall recruit bring to the table?
Natural Size and Athleticism
At 6’4″ and 277 lbs at only 18, the J.T. Tuimoloau Ohio State career is going to start off with a bang. The kid is massive and strong, but he’s so smooth on his feet. He’s an edge rusher who also played tight end in high school and, realistically, could develop into a real threat there. If he wanted to, Tuimoloau could play both football and basketball for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State has a history of churning out elite pass rushers. If you want an NFL comparison, 247Sports sees Cameron Heyward in the youngster. Tuimoloau is too good to keep off the field. He has a skill set that is rarely ever seen in someone fresh out of high school. He is quick off the ball and can physically overpower top offensive linemen.
Day One Depth
It’s no secret that Ohio State has two position groups that are absolutely loaded with talent in 2021: wide receiver and defensive line. At just the edge rusher position, the Buckeyes tout Tyreke Smith, Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Zach Harrison, Tyler Friday, Noah Potter, and the freshman who is turning all the heads, Jack Sawyer. Even without a J.T. Tuimoloau Ohio State commitment, the Buckeyes will terrorize anyone and everyone.
Now, the Buckeyes add in another naturally gifted freshman whose hype is reminiscent of Nick Bosa‘s arrival on campus. If he had committed on Early Signing Day, he would have enrolled early. It’s not outlandish at all to think that the only thing keeping Tuimoloau from being on the field for the first snap in Minnesota is playbook knowledge. Even then, don’t put it past Coaches Larry Johnson and Kerry Coombs to put him in on “Rushmen” packages to just go after the poor soul that is Tanner Morgan.
Why The Wait?
On one hand, Buckeye fans could have become fatigued with this whole process. Every year, it seems, there is at least one recruit who seems to be more difficult than necessary. In 2019, it was Bru McCoy. This year, it seems it was Tuimoloau. There have been plenty of tweets that echo the sentiment “well, I don’t even want him” or “does he even want to be a Buckeye?”
Every fan believes that their team is God’s gift to football, so naturally, any dissent from that is met with outrage. The entire J.T. Tuimoloau Ohio State saga has been semi-exhausting. But imagine how Tuimoloau feels. He’s a teenager about to make the biggest decision of his life after not playing football in 2020 and not being able to take official visits until this past month.
Opposing Quarterbacks, Beware
The stars are aligning for the J.T. Tuimoloau Ohio State era to begin. Here’s a fun fact: the aforementioned Jack Sawyer has worn 33 thus far but has switched to 40 (which he wore in high school). Tuimoloau wore 33. Now, this could be a coincidence, but numbers are important.
Regardless, good luck. TV producers, I’m going to need you to do a favor for me: zoom in on the quarterback’s eyes when he realizes he has to line up against Tuimoloau, Sawyer, Harrison, and Haskell Garrett or Noah Potter.
The concern has been the Buckeyes’ secondary. With this defensive line terrorizing quarterbacks, the back-end’s job will be significantly easier.
Welcome to Columbus, J.T.! You’re gonna look great in the scarlet and gray!