The Hurry-Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.
Tuimoloau remaining patient in recruiting
When Ohio State was in the middle of its scorching-hot recruiting run in March and April, it seemed like any top-50 or top-100 recruits were rumored to potentially be joining the Buckeyes’ 2021 class at any moment. That’s the type of momentum they had.
The biggest fish whose name was circulated as leaning toward Ohio State was five-star Eastside Catholic (Wash.) High School defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau, the No. 2 overall player in the country who was actually listed as a defensive tackle at the time that speculation picked up.
Once that momentum subsided a bit, however, the reality set in that the 6-foot-4.5, 280-pounder was going to wait a long time to make a decision, possibly taking his recruitment all the way until February’s National Signing Day.
Tuimoloau does not talk about his recruitment with many media members except for 247Sports national recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman, who is based in Seattle, and Huffman has been reporting for a while that he thought it would be a February decision for the Sammamish star – one who is friends with former Eastside Catholic teammate and current Buckeye receiver Gee Scott Jr.
That appears to still be the case for Tuimoloau, whose head coach, Dominic Daste, told Cleveland.com that Tuimoloau is continuing to remaining completely patient with his college decision until the recruiting dead period is lifted and visits are allowed again:
“J.T.‘s a really mature guy, and how many uniforms you have and all that kind of stuff is fun for him,” Daste told cleveland.com. “But I don’t think it’s by far any stretch of the imagination what’s important to him. 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. He’s trying to figure out which place is best for him in terms of that.”
As a supplement to that, on a YouTube highlight video released on Tuesday that showcased the ridiculous athleticism Tuimoloau possesses, Tuimoloau not only produced some slick snags, he also discussed his recruitment very briefly.
He said that he was likely to wait until 2021 to make a decision, and at the very least, he would be waiting until “late” in the process to decide, which further backs up Huffman’s thoughts on the situation.
Washington moves to spring football
As Tuimoloau says at the end of the video, after he mentions in passing that he will be making a late decision, there is plenty of concern about whether or not there will even be a senior season for him to play.
Since Tuimoloau does not appear headed toward early enrollment at this point in time, we can probably assume – though not much is safe to assume at this point – that he will be suiting up for Eastside Catholic’s football team in the spring.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced on Tuesday that it is moving high school football to the spring. That impacts the timeline of Tuimoloau’s senior season, and it looks like Ohio State five-star receiver target Emeka Egbuka will also be faced with an important decision.
Egbuka is expected to enroll early at whatever program he chooses, and he will now have to go into decision mode about whether he wants to move forward with the plan of enrolling early or if he will play out his senior season at Steilacoom High School.
Hancock No. 9 for All-American Bowl
Each month, when the latest Ohio State commit announces his intentions to play in Texas’ All-American Bowl come January, we have continued to mention that the Buckeyes were on the verge of overtaking the impressive 2020 class’ number of nine commits participating in the weeklong event.
And we had continually mentioned a number of uncommitted prospects – such as Tuimoloau and Egbuka – who might end up as Buckeyes down the road who could possibly add to that list.
However, we failed to mention that cornerback Jordan Hancock was another Buckeye target who had already committed to the All-American Bowl. And following Hancock’s flip from Clemson to Ohio State, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound versatile cornerback now represents the ninth commit in the Buckeyes’ 2021 cycle who will be playing in the game.
With our report that running back commit TreVeyon Henderson will indeed be playing in the All-American Bowl – despite not playing a senior season of high school football – that means Ohio State’s 2021 haul will have at least as many commits down at the San Antonio festivities as it did this past January.
Michigan offers Brown
Now that Jyaire Brown has moved back to the Midwest where he was born, the Buckeyes’ 2022 cornerback is starting to pick up offers from some of the area colleges. First came offers from Pittsburgh and Cincinnati on Monday, and then Michigan came calling with an offer on Tuesday.
Any time Michigan offers an Ohio State commit, it’s going to be worthy of at least a small note, even if it ends up being of no consequence.
As we have said before, the Buckeyes have what amounts to a five-run lead in the ninth inning when it comes to Brown’s recruitment (how’s that for a nice baseball-centric tease ahead of Thursday night’s MLB doubleheader?) so there aren’t any worries as of now about him. But that’s not going to stop other teams, even Ohio State’s biggest rivals, from going after him.
Top photo: J.T. Tuimoloau (Andrew Ivins/247Sports)