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An update on one of Ohio State’s top remaining targets in 2021

The Buckeyes are still trying to fill out their No. 1-rated class.

Five-star Eastside Catholic DE J.T. Tuimoloau
Brandon Huffman, 247Sports

The commitment of Jordan Hancock was just the latest addition to Ohio State’s stellar 2021 class — one that ranks No. 1 in the nation by a large margin. With still a handful of five-star prospects on the Buckeyes’ radar, Ryan Day’s group has a chance to truly be one for the record books. Already having a stellar 19 commits in hand, Day and his staff can now go out and try to finish things off with some of most talented players in the country.

One of the guys at the top of that list is J.T. Tuimoloau, a five-star defensive end who has been linked to Ohio State for quite some time. Tuimoloau is the No. 2 player in the country overall, the No. 2 strong-side DE and the No. 1 player in his home state of Washington, and is obviously a player position coach Larry Johnson would love to add to his long list of talented defensive line pupils.

Luckily for Day and Johnson, there seems to be a good amount of mutual interest between the two parties. While Tuimoloau has played his recruitment a lot closer to the vest than most other highly-touted prospects, the Buckeyes appear to be at the top of his list, with currently four of the five 247Sports Crystal Balls in favor of OSU (the lone outlier in favor of Washington all the way back in April 2019).

If not for a global pandemic shutting down recruiting visits nationwide, there’s a good chance Tuimoloau would already be committed. However, like most players in his position, the COVID-19 shutdown has slowed down the process. Still waiting to see if he will be able to make any of his official visits at some point before signing day, Eastside Catholic head coach Dominic Daste gave Cleveland.com a glimpse into Tuimoloau’s current mindset.

“He obviously wants to have an outstanding football career and maximize his athletic ability, but he also wants to be a businessman and wants to do some things whenever football’s done,” Daste said. “He’s trying to figure out which place is best for him in terms of that.”

If he does wind up at Ohio State, the talented defensive end would be joining two fellow edge rushers in five-star Jack Sawyer and high four-star Tunmise Adeleye. It would be quite the haul for one class of defensive linemen, but for now it appears Tuimoloau is comfortable taking things slow. Things currently seem to be leaning in the Buckeyes’ favor, but only time will tell.

Quick Hits

  • According to Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts, four-star linebacker Harold Perkins is the latest 2022 prospect to land on Ohio State’s radar. The No. 16 OLB in the class and the No. 201 player overall, Perkins put on quite the performance at the Elite Underclassmen Showcase in Durant, OK on Sunday, and earned himself an invite to the 2022 Under Armour All-American Game. Kurelic says that Ohio State is one of Perkins’ “dream schools,” and that he expects position coach Al Washington to continue building a relationship with the Texas native.
  • On Tuesday, Ohio State offered 2022 power forward De’Ante Green, according to Green’s own personal Twitter account. The No. 11 PF and No. 73 player in the country, the 6-foot-9 prospect already holds a whopping 23 offers, including the likes of Auburn, Kansas, Louisville, Penn State and Xavier. According to 247Sports, Green is the 11th early offer for Chris Holtmann and his staff in the 2022 class, with already one commitment in the group from three-star shooting guard Bowen Hardman.
  • Also on Tuesday, Ohio State cornerback commit Jyaire Brown received an offer from Michigan. Brown, the No. 14 corner and No. 113 player overall in the 2022 class, has been committed to the Buckeyes since the end of April as one of three early pledges in the cycle for Ryan Day and company. The Wolverines aren't the first Big Ten foe to offer Brown since his OSU commitment, as Penn State did the same back in May. 2021 RB commit TreVeyon Henderson voiced his displeasure of this latest offer on Twitter.