On National Signing Day, Mario Cristobal said the Oregon Ducks were saving a spot for "a special talent."
"I think we’re going to see some unbelievable dividends pay off because of the efforts of everybody," he added.
Cristobal likely was referring to J.T. Tuimoloau, the nation's No. 1 prospect from the 2021 class who wanted to wait to take official visits to all his final five schools before deciding on a college.
Well, after visiting his first four schools in June including the Oregon Ducks this week, Tuimoloau has cancelled his Alabama official visit and will focus on his first four schools, he told Brandon Huffman of 247 Sports.
"It’s just a feeling I’ve had for a while now and after getting back from my official visit to Oregon, we decided not to take the trip to Alabama," Tuimoloau told Huffman.
Tuimoloau visited Oregon from June 20th to the 23rd after a three-day visit at Ohio State, the lone school of his final four he hadn't seen prior to the coronavirus pandemic. He had been in Eugene for the 2019 home game against Montana.
The battle for Tuimoloau has been widely viewed as Ohio State versus Alabama with Oregon running in third place as the likely West Coast destination. Barring Washington or USC hitting a home run visit, perhaps this battle has become the Buckeyes versus the Ducks.
The Ducks offered him in football and basketball, joining Washington as the two schools to do so. However, as a likely future NFL Draft first-round selection, getting him in Cristobal's program would be game-changing.