Fireworks were set off around the country on July 4, but it’s difficult to imagine anyone creating a bigger bang than J.T. Tuimoloau did Sunday when he announced his commitment to Ohio State live on CBS Sports HQ.
Tuimoloua is the No. 1 overall player in the class of 2021, per the Top247, and his summertime commitment transforms Ohio State’s No. 2 overall class from great to historic. With Tuimoloua’s commitment, the Buckeyes are the first program in Top247 history to sign five top 10 players from a single class – only one other program had ever signed four.
Think about that: Half of the nation’s 10-best high school recruits will play for Ohio State this year.
It’s a reflection of the torrid pace with which Ryan Day is stacking talent in Columbus. Any concern that Day would not keep up Urban Meyer’s elite level of recruiting was quashed quickly.
No position better reflects Day’s efforts than defensive line, where the Buckeyes have continued to land elite prospect after elite prospect under Larry Johnson’s guidance. Here’s a glimpse at where the Buckeyes’ defensive end recruits have ranked since the 2019 class when Day took over as head coach.
Zach Harrison: No. 12 overall in 2019 Noah Potter: No. 334 in 2019 Ty Hamilton: No. 762 in 2020 J.T. Tuimoloau: No. 1 in 2021 Jack Sawyer: No. 4 in 2021
That’s an average of one five-star EDGE rusher a cycle with the Buckeyes truly making a bang in 2021 by landing two of the top four overall players in the country at the position. At most programs Chase Young or Joey Bosa would be a once-and-a-generation defender. Not at Ohio State. The Buckeyes just keep reloading along the defensive line. But its not that the riches are exclusive to EDGE rushers.
Ohio State signed a five-star quarterback in 2020 (CJ Stroud), 2021 (Kyle McCord) and have the nation’s No. 1 overall player, Quinn Ewers, committed at the position in 2022. Wide receiver? The Buckeyes signed a pair of five-stars at the position in 2020 (Julian Fleming, Jaxon Smith-Njigba), followed it up with the top overall receiver in the 2021 class (Emeka Egbuka) and already have a five-star committed in 2022 (Caleb Burton).
How about offensive line? Ohio State inked the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle in 2018 (Nicholas Petit-Frere), a five-star center in 2019 (Harry Miller), the No. 1 offensive tackle in 2020 (Paris Johnson) and a five-star offensive guard (Donovan Jackson) in 2021.
You get the idea.
Day is recruiting at a level few can compare to in this era — this is the realm of Alabama and Geogia — and it has the Buckeyes positioned to compete for national titles this year and well into the future.
Think of Tuimoloau as the grand finale of Ohio State’s 2021 class. But that’s thing about the finale of a fireworks display: You always know there will be another one next year. That’s the same feeling you get right now with the way the Buckeyes are recruiting.