Defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau, the Top247’s No. 1 player in the 2021 class, is ready to close the book on his recruitment.
“I’ll be announcing my decision on the 4th of July,” said Tuimoloau, who will join CBSSports HQ on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT to exclusively reveal his commitment.
The Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic superstar eschewed both signing periods for the 2021 class to make official visits to his top schools, which he did when the recruiting world opened up on June 1. Tuimoloau canceled an official visit to Alabama the last weekend of June and said he would focus on a final four of Ohio State, Oregon, USC and Washington.
The Buckeyes remain the slight favorite in the EuroJournal Crystal Ball, but each of his final four have reason for optimism on Sunday.
Hometown Washington was the first school to offer him, doing so in September of 2017; the Huskies also offered him for basketball last spring. Washington received Tuimoloau’s first official visit of June.
“We had a really good talk with coach (Jimmy) Lake,” Tuimoloau said. “It wasn’t really much business, more so the feel of the trip and how we liked the visit. We had a great conversation with him just like we did with coach (Ikaika) Malloe and coach BG (Bob Gregory).”
After taking a week off from trips — for graduation and his final high school basketball game — Tuimoloau took an official visit to USC.
“It was great,” Tuimoloau said. “As many times as Ive been to USC with my 7v7 team, just getting to see USC , all of it, the facilities, the campus, it was great. It was a great experience for me. I didn’t know how much was there, so experiencing all that, it was a great visit.”
Tuimoloau had a quick turnaround from USC to Ohio State, his first time ever seeing Columbus.
“I loved it, it was a very good trip, getting to come out here with all my family,” Tuimoloau said. “The people around us on the trip were very genuine and a first class act altogether. I always felt like they shot it straight with us.”
Tuimoloau went directly from Columbus to Eugene for his official visit to Oregon, the second school to offer him for both football and basketball.
“The trip was great,” Tuimoloau said. “We got to meet with everyone. We had really good interaction with the staff and this was an all-around good visit. The people there on the team, the people around the campus, they were very genuinely helpful. It was a good visit, my family and I had a good time and we got a lot of good information.”
Alabama was in line to get his last official visit but the day before the trip, Tuimoloau cancelled his visit to Tuscaloosa.
After taking the last week to marinate on a decision, Tuimoloau and his family have set Sunday for the long awaited decision.
The wire-to-wire No. 1 player in EuroJournal’ rankings from the inaugural release of the rankings in the summer of 2018 until the final rankings of the 2021 class in January, Tuimoloau maintained the top spot. Wherever he enrolls, he should be an impact player from the jump.