J.T. Tuimoloau has been honored as a national player of the week following his spectacular performance on Saturday.
After recording six tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, one pass breakup – that led to a Zach Harrison interception – a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a defensive touchdown in Ohio State's 44-31 win over Penn State, Tuimoloau was named as the national defensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
@WalterCampFF National FBS Players of Week (Oct. 30)— Walter Camp Football (@WalterCampFF) October 30, 2022
Offense: Caleb Williams, QB @USC_Athletics @pac12
Defense: J.T. Tuimoloau, DE, @OhioStateFB @bigten https://t.co/LtyNDLD450 pic.twitter.com/h8gY2J78F4
Tuimoloau becomes the first Buckeye to win a Walter Camp national player of the week award since C.J. Stroud received the recognition on offense following a six-touchdown performance against Michigan State in 2021. Before Stroud, former Ohio State defensive end Chase Young was the national defensive player of the week after recording nine tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks in a matchup with Penn State in 2019.
After Tuimoloau's stat-stuffing performance against the Nittany Lions, Ryan Day called the second-year defensive end one of the "unsung heroes" of the Ohio State defense to this point in the season. The narrative matched what defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said weeks prior that Tuimoloau "doesn't get the credit" for his work defensively, indicating his impact went much deeper than the box scores could reveal.
When the time finally came for Tuimoloau's efforts to show up on paper, he showed up significantly, helping the Buckeyes claim their eighth win of the season in a hostile environment in Happy Valley and earning a national player of the week award as proof of his dominance.