Eastside Catholic’s defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau made an announcement on Wednesday. Just not the one fans were probably hoping for.
Tuimoloau, regarded as one of the top recruits in the country in the class of 2021, announced the final five schools he’s choosing from, in an announcement made on social media on the first day of the early football signing period. Tuimoloau narrowed his choice down to USC, Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State and Washington.
Tuimoloau has not set a timetable for making a final decision, but has said publicly he’s “taking it slow.”
Previously, Tuimoloau released his top seven schools on Oct. 1. With Wednesday’s announcement, he’s ruled out Oklahoma and Michigan as possible destinations for the 6-foot-5, 280-pound strong side defensive end.
Steilacoom wide receiver Emeka Egbuka, the other in-state five star who is considered the best in his class nationally at his position, committed to Ohio State on Friday over Oklahoma and Washington. He signed with the Buckeyes on Wednesday.
As a junior, Tuimoloau was SBLive’s No. 1 most impactful player across the state in the 2019-20 high school football season. Tuimoloau was a force on the D-line all year and caught the game-winning touchdown pass with one hand in a 2019 3A state football title game win over O’Dea.
There’s no consensus on where Tuimoloau should be slotted among the top players in 2021, but national recruiting sites all have him among the top of the pack. ESPN considers Tuimoloau the No. 4 player in the country, 247 Sports has him No. 3 and Rivals has him at No. 5.
He’s also a standout basketball player at Eastside Catholic and on the state’s most competitive AAU team Seattle Rotary. Washington has offered him in both football and basketball.