J.T. Tuimoloau is an Ohio State Buckeye. On Thursday, OSU’s website updated its roster to include a star studded freshman class––headlined by the defensive tackle Tuimoloau, defensive end Jack Sawyer and running back TreVeyon Henderson.
Tuimoloau’s inclusion is especially noteworthy. The Sammamish, Washington native’s recruitment lasted until July 4th when, after visiting Washington, USC, Ohio State and Oregon (in that order), Tuimoloau committed to the Buckeyes.
Less than two weeks later, Tuimoloau was listed on OhioStateBuckeyes.com at 6’4”, 277 pounds. Tuimoloau does not yet have a jersey number on the team site. However, 247Sports reported when Tuimoloau committed that Sawyer, who had originally planned to wear number 33, would give the number to Tuimoloau if J.T. followed him to Columbus.
In the same article covering Tuimoloau’s July 4th commitment, the big man spoke in depth about his college choice.
“Coach [Larry] Johnson and his defensive line room, it’s second to none,” Tuimoloau said. “We have so many dudes on that defensive line, so many great players, and he’s coached and developed so many of them himself.”
Tuimoloau’s relationship with Johnson, OSU’s associate head coach and defensive line coach, was the driving force behind Tuimoloau’s decision.
“Coach Johnson, man, that guy is very smart, he really knows what he’s doing,” Tuimoloau said. “Talking to him in person, you just know, he knows what he’s doing. You can see it, how he’s producing…He talks with you about all of the little things, he sees things you don’t see and breaks them down. There is a reason why you see a lot of his players in the [NFL] making a name for themselves. That guy is just real.”
247Sports projectsTuimoloau as “an instant impact Power 5-starter and a Top Ten overall draft pick.” He’ll get his first taste of Big 10 football at Minnesota on September 2nd.