J.T. Tuimoloau Could Be the Best Among 2021 Defensive Linemen
John Garcia, Jr.
Prospect: J.T. Tuimoloau
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-5, 270 Pounds
Position: Defensive End, Tight End
School: Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic
Schools of Interest: Considering Washington, Oregon, Ohio State, Alabama, USC and Stanford, among others.
Projected Position: Defensive Tackle. A true jumbo athlete, Tuimoloau fits best as the anchor of a defensive line with inside-out potential up front. He can collapse a pocket with pure power or with rare quickness and bend relative to his size, making him a three-down candidate the moment he enters the collegiate game.
Frame: Tuimoloau stands 6-foot-5, 270 pounds and carries it extremely well. He has a long, athletic build with the room to remain effective at over 300 pounds down the road.
Athleticism: A rising senior with two-way ability on the football field, helping Eastside Catholic to a pair of state titles, Tuimoloau is also a strong varsity basketball player. It’s hard to imagine a prospect carrying considerable weight he does, especially given his strong showings as a tight end on Friday nights as well as on the 7-on-7 circuit. On defense, the pursuit of the passer comes off with ease because of his combination of size, power, agility and body control in the wash as much as in space.
Instincts: Given Tuimoloau’s natural athleticism, general movement skill plays out with fluidity on tape. It shows up off the snap while on defense, after the catch on offense and certainly while playing laterally, vertically or transitioning on the basketball court. There are strong clear situational awareness, redirecting ability and ball skill traits at his disposal.
Polish: Tuimoloau’s versatility makes him somewhat raw as a defensive line prospect but he’ll flash violent hands and take the most efficient path to the ball carrier more times than not. He has developed strong inside counter moves to keep the blocker off balance and he can finish with plenty of power upon arrival.
Bottom Line: If there was to be a high school-only draft, there wouldn’t be many selections before Tuimoloau heard his name called. He has the complete package up front at a priority position so elite in nature coaches can build the entire defense around it. Tuimoloau is an impactful prospect who should strengthen the line of scrimmage unit soon after arrival at the next level.