National Signing Day 2021 is in the books, but the top-remaining uncommitted recruit remains available for the taking.
Five-star Sammamish (Wash.) defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau did not sign with a school Wednesday and is expected to wait until at least April to make a decision. Tuimoloau, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2021 according to 247Sports, is picking between Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, USC and Washington.
“[Tuimoloau], on the early signing period, named his final five of Alabama, Ohio State, Washington, Oregon and USC,” 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman said on The Dan Patrick Show. “So you have three Pac-12 schools relatively close to home, one being the hometown Huskies, another being Oregon which is just down the road, USC where his family is largely from Southern California, then you have the two teams playing for the National Championship. And it’s really been those two teams out in front for him, Alabama and Ohio State.”
Washington was the first school to offer Tuimoloau in early in his star-studded recruitment. The Huskies have pulled some big commitments out of their own backyard in recent years, but Ohio State seems to have a slight advantage over the field when it comes to securing Tuimoloau’s services, as his 247Sports Crystal Ball currently reads heavily in favor of the Buckeyes.
“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 Huffman.
Wherever he winds up, Tuiomoloau will ascend to the college ranks with the chance to make an instant impact. 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. All of those traits make 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.”