J.T. Tuimoloau will take his time.
Rather than inking with one of his five finalists on National Signing Day next week, the Ohio State target plans to wait several months before making a decision on which school to attend. Tuimoloau, a five-star defensive lineman ranked No. 3 overall in 2021, intends to wait until "at least April" to determine where he'll play college football, his dad Ponce Faletoi told 247Sports' Brandon Huffman on Thursday morning.
"He still wants to take visits," Faletoi said to 247Sports. "Whether those are officials when the NCAA opens it up, or us going out and checking those schools out, he still wants to visit a few schools."
Until at least mid-April, official and unofficial visits remain banned by the NCAA. However, a "quiet period" to replace the current recruiting "dead period" would open up colleges to have the ability to host recruits on campus, and Yahoo's Pete Thamel reported on Wednesday that a change could be made to open up prospects to have the ability to make visits beginning on April 16.
If that happens, Tuimoloau would be able to make official visits to schools he wants to see in person. Faletoi told 247Sports that Tuimoloau wants to visit both Ohio State and Alabama with his parents before making up his mind "just so we're all comfortable."
His five finalists revealed in December include the Buckeyes, Alabama, Oregon, USC and Washington. He has visited each of those schools except Ohio State, which is viewed as the favorite to land Tuimoloau and holds all six Crystal Ball projections.
Legendary defensive line coach Larry Johnson and head coach Ryan Day have chased Tuimoloau for the long haul, and they have several months left in their pursuit.
Landing the Sammamish, Washington, product would be a coup for the Buckeyes who already have five five-star recruits in the class signed. He's ranked No. 1 overall by 247Sports, No. 4 by Rivals and No. 6 by ESPN.
Header photo: J.T. Tuimoloau – Andrew Ivins/247Sports