The EDGE has emerged as one of the most dominant pass rushers in the Big Ten in the last two years. Entering the 2023 season, he was appearing on top-25 2024 NFL draft prospect boards.
But the preseason All-American ultimately decided to return with the rest of the Buckeyes’ defensive stars for a final year. He wants another shot at beating Michigan and winning a national championship. Tuimoloau wants to solidify his first-round draft status, too.
His decision to play a final season for the Buckeyes also means NIL opportunities. Tuimoloau has released his own dandruff shampoo in Giant Eagle grocery stores throughout Ohio as part of a partnership through the Ohio State-driven NIL collective The 1870 Society. A portion of profits will go back to the pass rusher.
“With JT announcing he is coming back next season, he could go down as one of the Buckeyes’ all-time greats not only on the field but off the field as well,” said Drew Esler, the 1870 Society’s vice president of operations. “There is so much momentum around the program. This is just another way Buckeye Nation can support all of its teams.”
Tuimoloau’s shampoo is the first step in the collective’s partnership with Giant Eagle. Future plans include frozen pizza featuring Buckeyes from men’s basketball, women’s tennis and women’s softball teams on packaging.
It’s a perfect endorsement deal for the Ohio State football star, given his trademark locks that can be seen bobbing on the field. Adding Tuimoloau back in the mix to the Ohio State defense is crucial for the Buckeyes. He’ll be able to work closely with Larry Johnson for another season and fine-tune his game while also helping bring along some of the younger EDGEs on the roster.
Most importantly, Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer should form one of the top pass-rushing attacks in the nation. The Buckeyes finished No. 3 in total defense in the nation in 2023.
JT Tuimoloau’s soaring NIL potential
A former five-star plus+ prospect, JT Tuimoloau was the No. 5 overall recruit in the class of 2021. In three seasons at Ohio State, he’s racked up 83 career tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. He’s also posted two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
The two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection has signed several endorsement deals, including agreements with Powerade, Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet of Columbus and Infinity Clothing. He also had an NIL deal with the suit company Pursuit. The pass rusher has more than 61,000 social media followers.
Tuimoloau has an On3 NIL Valuation of $828,000, which ranks No. 25 in the college football NIL rankings. The valuation is 36th in the On3 NIL 100, the first of its kind and defacto NIL ranking of the top 100 high school and college athletes ranked by their On3 NIL Valuation.
The On3 NIL Valuation is calculated by combining roster value and personal NIL. Roster value is the value an athlete has by being a member of his or her team at his or her school, which factors into the role of NIL collectives. NIL in an athlete’s name, image and likeness and the value it could bring to regional and national brands outside of the scope of NIL collectives.