Top football commit J.T. Tuimoloau to also pursue basketball at Ohio State
J.T. Tuimoloau isn’t going to Ohio State with plans on being just a one-sport athlete.
The top-rated football player in the 247Sports recruiting rankings for the class of 2021 will join the Buckeyes with hopes of also joining the men’s basketball program during the offseason.
While on his official visit to Ohio State that began June 18, Tuimoloau spent time meeting with men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann and his staff. Tuimoloau was told he is welcome to play, and both Holtmann and football coach Ryan Day will work on the details with Tuimoloau and his family in the coming months.
Tuimoloau announced his Ohio State commitment on July 4. In a graphic posted to his personal Instagram page, which has more than 17,000 followers, Tuimoloau included one photo of himself in a scarlet throwback basketball jersey wearing No. 15.
A defensive end, Tuimoloau is listed at 6 feet 4½, 277 pounds. He is tied for the No. 24 all-time recruit in the 247Sports.com composite rankings, which date to 2000.
Oregon and Washington are known to have offered him basketball scholarships. He averaged a double figures in points and rebounds while playing for Sammamish (Washington) Eastside Catholic during each of the last two seasons.
He would be the first Buckeye to play both sports so since safety Nate Salley played 10 games for the 2002-03 men’s basketball program, totaling 29 minutes and scoring eight points. He had averaged more than 18 points per game as a prep senior and came to Ohio State with plans on playing both sports. He did not suit up again for the men’s basketball team after that season.
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