Oregon Ducks basketball offers J.T. Tuimoloau, the nation’s No. 1 football prospect

Oregon basketball offers J.T. Tuimoloau, the nation’s No. 1 football prospect originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The Oregon Ducks men’s basketball program has offered the nation’s top football recruit J.T. Tuimoloau. 

Yes, you read that correctly. 

Ducks assistant coach Tony Stubblefield extended the offer. 

“Coach Stubblefield offered J.T. for basketball,” his father, Ponce Faletoi told 247Sports‘ Brandon Huffman.

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The Washington Huskies extended an offer to Tuimoloau for basketball in May. Prior to Tuesday, it was his lone offer to play college basketball. 

The top prospect in the nation for the 2021 recruiting cycle still hasn’t made a decision due to an inability to tour the campuses of all five finalists, specifically Ohio State. 

The other four schools in the Northwest native’s final five are USC, Washington, Alabama and Oregon, all of whom he has visited. 

He visited Eugene in 2019 for the Montana home game. 

[RELATED]: J.T. Tuimoloau, the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in class of 2021, lists Oregon Football in final five

Tuimoloau has played both football and basketball as Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, WA) each of the last three years and plans to play basketball on top of football in college. 

With a final decision potentially months away, it’s widely viewed that Ohio State is the favorite to land him, with all six 247Sports crystal ball predictions choosing the Buckeyes.

Ohio State signed the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver in 2021, Emeka Egbuka, who happens to be close with Tuimoloau.

“You know, you just gotta stay on him heavy,” Egbuka told 247Sports in December. “I’ve been calling him, FaceTiming him, since I committed. And you know, we’re good friends, so we joke around about it, make it a good time. But I definitely want him to come play for us, and you know, just help the Buckeyes grow.”

Then, Alabama is closely behind and Oregon trailing as the third team to make up a top-three. USC and Washington are both viewed as extreme longshots. 

The 6-foot-5, 277-pound defensive end has wanted to visit each campus before making a decision, a stance he has held since the NCAA shut down recruiting visits due to COVID-19. Now, nearly a year into the pandemic, that has not shifted with all five schools saving a spot for Tuimoloau. 

“So [we are] saving a spot for a special talent,” said Cristobal on National Signing Day, hinting at Tuimoloau. “I think we’re going to see some unbelievable dividends pay off because of the efforts of everybody.”

Oregon currently has a two-sport athlete on the current roster in four-star freshman Robby Ashford, who currently plays baseball for the university as well. 

247Sports basketball analyst Brian Snow has seen Tuimoloau on the AAU circuit in Seattle, coming away quite impressed.

“What was absolutely freakish when watching Tuimoloau was his feet. I am not sure that I’ve ever seen a player who is 6-foot-5 and around 280 pounds have better feet on a basketball court than him,” said Snow. “Even opposing players, who had no idea who he was, were amazed that Tuimoloau could switch ball screens keeping guards in front of him and the first step he had when driving the basketball.”

Could Tuimoloau be looking to win back-to-back-to-back-to-back Pac-12 Championships himself in two academic years? That reality could become a dream should he choose Oregon. 

[RELATED]: Oregon Ducks become first school to win back-to-back Pac-12 Titles in football and basketball

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