Football Recruiting

Pair of 5-Star Defenders Visiting Ohio State Today

Faatui Tuitele Ohio State Recruiting Buckeyes


If there’s one thing we know, it’s that Ohio State can always use a few more 5-star prospects on a defense that is already littered with them.

On the 2018 Buckeye roster will be four former 5-star defensive linemen, four former 5-star linebackers, and four former 5-star defensive backs.

Today Ohio State is hosting a pair of 2019 5-star defenders in linebacker Brandon Smith (6-5 215) and defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele (6-3 299) who they believe would fit right in with what’s going on in Columbus.

Tuitele (St. Louis HS, Honolulu HI) is ranked the No. 2 defensive tackle in the nation per the 247Sports Composite. He is the No. 24 prospect overall. Tuitele holds offers from Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, Florida State, Penn State, and Alabama, who just offered this week.

The Ohio State unofficial visit is one of several that Tuitele has taken this spring. He has also been to Alabama, LSU, and Oklahoma.

On the field, Tuitele plays mostly defensive end in a 3-4 alignment, but would project to defensive tackle in a 4-3 front. For as big as he is, he is an effective pass rusher. Just as effective is his recovery when quarterbacks read him on option plays and he ends up making the tackle anyway.

You can see some of that in his highlights below.

Faatui Tuitele Highlights

Brandon Smith (Louisa County HS, Mineral VA) is ranked the No. 1 inside linebacker in the 2019 class and the No. 19 prospect overall. He is the No. 1 prospect in the state of Virginia as well.

Smith holds offers from the likes of Texas A&M, Alabama, Michigan, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Auburn, and Notre Dame. He visited Virginia Tech last month, and has seen Michigan, Notre Dame, and now Ohio State this week. Smith actually got to Columbus on Thursday.

As a linebacker, Smith displays tremendous range. He can cover ground and mirror a quarterback rollout while also closing ground. Smith shows no problems dealing with fullbacks in his efforts to stop the run. A tremendous athlete, Smith is a long, tall linebacker who is still growing into his frame.

You can see what he is capable of doing on the football field in the highlights below.

Brandon Smith Highlights

Ohio State does not yet have any defensive commitments in the 2019 recruiting class. The next few weeks will see the Buckeyes hosting some of the top prospects in the country, so the number of commitments may be growing before the month is out.

[Faatui Tuitele photo courtesy Hawaii Prep World]


4 Responses

  1. Faatui Tuitele uses both finesse and brute strength. With his frame he could could be the big run stuffer with outstanding pass rush skills the Buckeyes have a need of. He could force defenses to have to at least edge a second defender to slow him down, if not outright double him. That would set the stable of DE’s loose to cause offenses a ton of problems.

    It’s just highlights but Brandon Smith didn’t take any bad angles to end plays. He’s the “I’m not gonna talk, I’m going to bust your face” attacker. He reminds me Ryan Shazier.

  2. I’d be interested how the kid from Hawai’i translates to big time college football. I mean how good can the HS competition be in Hawaii compared to the mainland?

    1. Alabama and Oregon have done alright with Hawaiian QBs recently.

      1. They play very good football in Hawai’i.

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