Oregon Ducks

Oregon inside top-7 for nation's No. 1 overall player J.T. Tuimoloau

Oregon Ducks

Oregon's in the running for the nation's top recruit once again.

Eastside Catholic strongside defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau released his top-seven Thursday afternoon which included the Oregon Ducks, along with Oklahoma, Washington, Ohio State, Michigan, USC and Alabama. 

The five-star, 6'4.5", 277-pound prospect out of Sammamish, WA is rated as the best prospect in the country by 247Sports and second overall by composite ranking, No. 24 all-time. As a junior, Tuimoloau recorded 64 tackles, 15 tackles-for-losses and 11 sacks. 

Currently, 92.3% of the crystal ball predictions have him destined to be a Buckeye, with the remainder projecting him to go to Washington, but never count out Mario Cristobal and the Oregon Ducks in a recruiting battle. 

In Cristobal's first full season as head coach, he secured a commitment from Kayvon Thibodeaux, the top-rated player in the nation by ESPN and now the projected top overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Heading into his senior high school football season, Oregon was seen as a long shot for Thibodeaux. But on an official visit that included attending Oregon's thrilling overtime victory over rival Washington, it helped Oregon become a front runner. 

The Oregonian's Andrew Nemec wrote Thursday that Oregon is "a serious contender" to get Tuimoloau after the last few months. 

However, with official visits shutdown through the end of the calendar year, Tuimoloau will not be able to attend any games this season at Autzen Stadium.

 

Oregon commit Brandon Buckner tweeted at the Ducks target after his announcement to "come join the flock."

247Sports National Recruiting Editor Brandon Huffman projects Tuimoloau as a top-ten NFL Draft pick:

"Powerful, athletic and nimble, with room to still add significant weight at the next level. Has lined up on the edge, mixing with hand down while also standing up. Elite pass rusher, who can mix a variety of moves with pure strength to shed his blockers. Can drop into coverage against running backs, receivers and tight ends and has the athleticism and ball skills to be a force in coverage. Has even played safety. Could be a top tight end prospect if he focused on offense, with natural pass-catching skills, ability to track the ball and high point it and run after the catch. Also a high-major basketball player, averaging nearly a double-double in prep career. As he continues to add weight and strength, figures to be among the elite pass-rushers at the next level. Projects as an instant impact Power 5-starter and a Top Ten overall draft pick."

You can watch his junior season highlights here.