For months it seemed like four-star defensive tackle Jay Tufele would pick between Ohio State and Utah. But torn on playing for a big-time program and staying somewhat close to home, Tufele made a compromise when he committed to USC during a ceremony at his high school on Wednesday morning.
Most prognosticators believed the 6-foot-3, 297-pounder would ultimately pick the Utes based on proximity — their campus is a mere 20 miles north of his hometown of South Jordan. But the Trojans made a statement when they landed Tufele's good friend, Marlon Tuipulotu, while the pair were on an official visit together last month.
The Buckeyes made a push of their own, hosting Tufele for an official visit during the Nov. 26 game against Michigan. He became increasingly close to defensive line coach Larry Johnson the meantime, but the distance was simply too much to overcome.
Ohio State still holds commitments from fellow four-star defensive tackles Haskell Garrett and Jerron Cage and awaits a decision from five-star Marvin Wilson this afternoon. Wilson will make his decision known at approximately 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2.