J.T. Tuimoloau, nation's No. 1 player, commits to Ohio State over Oregon Ducks

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J.T. Tuimoloau, nation's No. 1 player, commits to Ohio State over Oregon Ducks originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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, Tuimoloau canceled his Alabama official visit to focus on his final four schools in Oregon, Ohio State, USC and Washington, he told Brandon Huffman of 247 Sports.

The decision prompted the recruiting world to widely believe the race has come down to two schools: Oregon and Ohio State.

However, on Independence Day, Tuimoloau committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes via CBS Sports HQ. Ohio State had been the likely leader for months and an official visit last month seemingly sealed the deal. 

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The 6'4.5", 277-pound 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.