Ohio State football: We’re going to see more of JTT

Ohio State coach Ryan Day cheers on his defense.Tulsa At Ohio State Football
Ohio State coach Ryan Day cheers on his defense.Tulsa At Ohio State Football /

Because he waited so late to make his decision, we knew when defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau committed to the Buckeyes in early July he’d probably get off to somewhat of a slow start. He was on the field for just 25 plays in the Ohio State football team’s first two games.

Not bad for a true freshman, but you want more from a guy who was the nation’s top recruit (according to 247 Sports’ composite rankings). Last week, thanks to Zach Harrison sitting out, Tuimoloau got a lot of playing time. According to defensive line coach Larry Johnson, this will continue,

"“Last week was his biggest week, he played 45 plays. We’ll continue to increase that probably up to 50, 55, depends on the game. We’d like to see more from him as we start to go forward.”"

The Washington native has three tackles and one quarterback hurry. He also batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage against Oregon. However, it was a play against Oregon that won’t appear on the stat sheet that really caught your attention.

On a run play in the third quarter, the Ducks’ left guard pulled and went to block Tuimoloau. The Buckeye true freshman set the edge so well he put the Oregon blocker onto his back and then combined with fellow true freshman Tyleik Williams on the tackle. That is as impressive of a play as I’ve seen all season from an Ohio State defender. As evidenced by Johnson’s comments, others are impressed with him as well.

The speculation was Zach Harrison sat out last week because of a back issue. Back problems are always a concern because they can be very touchy. Tyler Friday is out for the season. The emergence of Tuimoloau is going to give this group a very big boost.

The hope is Jack Sawyer will continue his development and show he is worthy of more playing time. I’m also hoping Jacolbe Cowan continues to progress. I liked the athleticism the redshirt freshman showed in his limited playing time against Tulsa.

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I’d be lying if I said I’m not excited about what we’re beginning to see from Tuimoloau. Don’t be surprised if by the end of October he is in the starting lineup. The Buckeyes have themselves another gem at defensive end.