Ohio State gets huge boost with 5-star J.T. Tuimoloau added to roster

Ohio State gets huge boost with 5-star J.T. Tuimoloau added to roster
Apr 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes helmet during the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes are going to have a terrifying defensive line for opponents to contend with, as 5-star recruit J.T. Tuimoloau joined the 2021 roster.

Tuimoloau was revealed to be part of the Buckeyes’ roster on their official website. Although he made his late commitment on the Fourth of July, Tuimoloau wasn’t officially on the roster until he enrolled.

A product of Eastside Catholic School in Seattle, the 6-foot-4, 277-pound Tuimoloau is rated as the No. 3 overall recruit in the class of 2021, according to 247Sports.

The team rankings on 247Sports have Ohio State with the second-best recruiting class in 2021 behind only the Alabama Crimson Tide, and looking at the haul of prospects the Buckeyes have landed, it’s no surprise.

Buckeyes’ recruiting hot streak continues with J.T. Tuimoloau

Buckeyes' recruiting hot streak continues with J.T. Tuimoloau
Team Brutus defensive end Jack Sawyer (33) follows a play during the Ohio State football Spring Game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Credit: Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch via Imagn Content Services, LLC

In addition to welcoming Tuimoloau to Columbus, Ohio State coach Ryan Day was already going to have the luxury of one outstanding true freshman to deploy in Jack Sawyer. Now, both Sawyer and Tuimoloau will be fighting for a spot in the team’s defensive line rotation.

If this is any indication of what’s to come: 247Sports compares Sawyer to former Buckeyes star Nick Bosa, who went on to be the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Tuimoloau is likened to Pittsburgh Steelers star Cameron Heyward.

Now, that’s a lot of hype to put on such young players, yet Sawyer and Tuimoloau have the chops to back it up. They’re already so far ahead of the curve in terms of pass-rushing technique, play strength and dynamic athleticism.

Other than defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, there should be at least a puncher’s chance for Sawyer and Tuimoloau to land starting spots right out of the gate. That isn’t said lightly, considering the quality of players Ohio State has year in and year out. That’s just how special these recruits are.

So, in addition to that bright future on the defensive side of the ball, the Buckeyes should also have a quarterback competition for the ages in the coming years. Projected 2021 starter CJ Stroud has gotten pushed by true freshman Kyle McCord, but Ohio State also has the top 2022 QB committed in Quinn Ewers.

It’s an embarrassment of riches for the Buckeyes at this point. If they get the right signal-caller to lead their offense, and the Tuimoloau-Sawyer tandem live up to the hype, Ohio State should easily be in position for a national championship during the 2022 and 2023 campaigns.

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