JT Tuimoloau

Buckeye Defensive End JT Tuimoloau Coming Back

Ohio State defensive end JT Tuimoloau has announced that he will be returning for his senior year and will not be entering the 2024 NFL Draft.

“With heart felt gratitude to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, a sense of unfinished business, and an unbreakable bond with my Buckeye brothers, I am standing firm into my decision to return,” Tuimoloau posted via Instagram.

Tuimoloau was a two-time First-Team All-Big Ten selection for the Buckeyes the past two seasons. He arrived at Ohio State as a ballyhooed High School All-American and had some very big moments in his OSU career. Chief among those was the 2022 game against Penn State where he posted six tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble.

This past season as a junior, Tuimoloau tallied 34 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, and 4.0 sacks. As a sophomore, he had 28 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, and 4.0 sacks. He has 10.5 sacks in his career.

Tuimoloau’s return is a big gain for an Ohio State defense that is setting up for big things in 2024. Fellow defensive end Jack Sawyer has already announced his return following a Cotton Bowl where he notched three quarterback sacks. Defensive tackles Tyleik Williams and Ty Hamilton have also announced their returns to Larry Johnson’s defensive line next year.

Meanwhile, at the back of the defense, cornerbacks Denzel Burke and Jordan Hancock announced their respective returns this past Wednesday.

To this point, the only underclassmen to announce their departures for the NFL are receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr., defensive tackle Mike Hall, and running back Miyan Williams.

JT Tuimoloau came to Ohio State from Edgewood, Washington, where he played for Eastside Catholic High School and was a five-star prospect in the 2021 class.

Tuimoloau is ranked the No. 4 edge prospect in the 2024 draft per CBSSports.com’s draft rankings. He is the No. 23 draft prospect overall.

The last Buckeye defensive end drafted in the first round was Chase Young, who went second overall to Washington in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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