Jay Tufele took all five official visits, thoroughly dissecting each and every one of his college options, and his moment has finally arrived.
The five-star defensive tackle from South Jordan (Utah) Bingham will publicly announce his decision Wednesday at 10 a.m. MT in a ceremony at his school and is set to choose between Ohio State, USC and Utah, his father Line Tufele tells Scout.com.
"It's been really hard," Line Tufele said. "All the schools are unbelievable and he's had great options. All the options would be good for my son. I told my family to pray for my son because I know our son is a young boy. He's a kid and this is hard, so I just advised him and told him, 'Son, whatever you decide, I raise my hand and support you 100 percent.'"
Tufele, the No. 3-rated defensive tackle in the 2017 class, officially visited the Buckeyes (Nov. 26), Trojans (Jan. 20) and hometown Utes (Jan. 27), as well as BYU and Michigan. His mother only made it to the in-state campuses during the official visit process and it's been no secret that she would like him to stay home, but she's been very supportive.
"Right now, my wife told Jay, 'If you want to go outside, I'm OK. If you want to stay home, I'm OK. It's all about you and it's your future,'" Line Tufele said.
Ohio State and USC were legitimate suitors from the moment they offered. Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and assistant Larry Johnson capped their face-to-face contact last week when they dropped by for their in-home visit Thursday, just a couple days after Tufele returned from his trip to Los Angeles.
Tufele then took his final official visit to Utah this past weekend. The Utes, Line Tufele said, did everything they possibly could to make the family feel at home heading into the final stretch before National Signing Day.
"Utah is special to us; it's home," Line Tufele said. "Whenever we've been over there, my son knows everybody. The education is unbelievable. The head coach, (Kyle) Whittingham, and the coaching staff are just very nice. It's a special place for my son."
USC, meanwhile, flipped and signed fellow defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu, a midyear enrollee who had been committed to Washington for quite some time. Tufele and Tuipulotu were on USC's campus together earlier this month and Line Tufele said they have since talked about what it would be like to play together.
"It's hard to choose between the three, but Jay has thought about it long and hard," Line Tufele said. "Whatever he decides, we're very happy for him."