Oregon football is facing a huge week of recruiting which is being kicked off by the official visit of five-star 2021 defensive end JT Tuimoloau.
The five-star got to Eugene on Sunday and will be in town a few days before finishing off his schedule of visits to Alabama before making a final decision. It’s rare for a prospect to still be uncommitted just months before his freshman season is set to begin, but Tuimoloau is the best recruit in the class and wanted to make sure he was making the correct decision.
He waited for official visits and is able to choose a favorite late in the process before showing up for summer conditioning and fall practices.
Oregon has been wowing prospects through the first three weeks of official visits and Tuimoloau could be swayed by his trip to Eugene because the campus is beautiful, the program is elite, and Mario Cristobal is one of the best recruiters in college football. Oh, and Kayvon Thibodeaux is the perfect ‘this could be you’ player for a defensive end recruit to meet in person.
But after his Ohio State visit, it looks like the Buckeyes hold a commanding lead for the Washington-based prospect.
If he does decide to stay on the West Coast, Oregon will probably be the most likely landing spot although USC and Washington are also in the mix. The Ducks have the best immediate outlook of the three teams and Thibodeaux will only help matters here.
Can Oregon football wrestle him from Ohio State’s grasp?
Ohio State holds a firm grasp on Tuimoloau according to the 247Sports crystal ball predictions, but there are no confident picks. The highest confidence level is around a five and that just means that a great visit to Eugene could sway him away from Ohio State and to a program like Oregon or Alabama.
Being in Eugene from Sunday until Wednesday morning is only going to be a good thing for the Ducks because they have plenty of time to show him everything they can offer.
I think both Alabama and Oregon could sway him from Ohio State but the visits have to be near perfect because the Buckeyes took an early lead and everyone else is just trying to play catch-up.
Cristobal is a good enough recruiter to the point that I wouldn’t be shocked if he turned around and committed to Oregon after all his officials.
Right now, Ohio State is the closest thing to a “lock” on his list of finalists, but Oregon and Alabama are right there. I give the Ducks a 20 percent chance here.