Ohio State got a late addition to its 2021 recruiting class on Sunday when five-star defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau committed to the Buckeyes.
Tuimoloau is the No. 4-ranked recruit overall in the 2021 class and did not sign his national letter of intent or announce a commitment in February on signing day. He held out until now, taking visits to Washington, USC, Ohio State and Oregon.
He had Alabama in his top list with the others but dropped the Crimson Tide within the past month to focus on the remaining four schools.
He’s a 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive tackle from Eastside Catholic High School in Bellevue, Washington, and he is the No. 1 defensive tackle in the class. Tuimoloau had kept his recruitment close to the vest, so it was unclear if or when he would make a commitment throughout his process.
It seemed as though Alabama at one point had a good shot at landing him, then Ohio State, but Oregon kept making its presence known as well, until the Buckeyes ultimately won out.
Adding Tuimoloau to the class gives coach Ryan Day three five-star prospects with defensive end Jack Sawyer, the No. 1-ranked prospect overall, and running back TreVeyon Henderson, ranked No. 9. The staff now has 18 ESPN 300 commitments in the class with 15 ranked in the top 150.
It’s the 10th straight class that Ohio State has had at least one five-star commitment, going back to the 2012 class. It’s the second straight class with multiple five-stars committed as the staff signed five-star receiver Julian Fleming and offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. in 2020.
The coaches are on track to push that five-star streak even further as quarterback Quinn Ewers, the No. 1 recruit overall, is already committed in the 2022 class.