COLUMBUS — The recruitment ofÂ J.T. Tuimoloau just keeps taking turns.
But it’s nearing the finish line.
The No. 1 remaining recruit in the class of 2021 announced Friday he is canceling his official visit to Alabama this weekend, ruling the Crimson Tide out as a possible landing spot. This comes just a week after he visited Ohio State and days after taking his official to Oregon.
The No. 3 overall recruit and top defensive lineman in the 2021 class will now enter decision mode with his family. The plan is for Tuimoloau to enroll at his school in time to arrive on campus and contribute this fall. Long considered to be a battle between Ohio State and Alabama, the generational talent will now focus on the four schools he has visited.
“I think I have a pretty good idea of what each of the four schools Iâ€™ve visited offer, and now Iâ€™m going to discuss things as a family and come to a decision,” Tuimoloau told Brandon Huffman of 247Sports. “Iâ€™m going to focus on the four schools Iâ€™ve visited.”
That list includes the Buckeyes, of course. And it now rules out Alabama, leaving Oregon, Washington and USC as the competition for Ohio State.
The top defensive lineman in the 2021 class chose not to enroll before visiting campuses, waiting out the NCAA dead period which last nearly 16 months. Finally in June, he planned to visit his top-five schools.
First he visited his home-state school of Washington, then travelled to USC. Last weekend he was in Columbus, greeted by the Ohio State coaching staff at the airport and able to spend one-on-one time with legendary defensive line coach Larry Johnson. When he left on Sunday, the expectation was for the five-star talent to visit Oregon and Alabama this week.
Except Tuimoloau only visited Oregon. On Friday he announced Alabama has officially been ruled out of his recruitment and he won’t be visiting this weekend. The news is shocking as none of the schools involved in his recruitment knew the announcement was coming, including Ohio State.
Landing the prospect would be a huge get for the Buckeyes. With attrition expected to kick in over the next two years, Ohio State would love to land a top-tier prospect such as Tuimoloau. More importantly, landing the defensive lineman could be a game changer for the Buckeyes this season as he has the talent to contribute immediately.
The path to landing a commitment from J.T. Tuimoloau just cleared up for Ohio State. Now the Buckeyes will hope all their efforts throughout his recruitment pay off.