Just like last Sunday when four-star defensive lineman Jason Moore announced his verbal pledge to the Buckeyes, Ohio State has once again locked up a commitment from another highly sought after class of 2023 prospect. Now the 19th recruit to give their word to Ryan Day and the OSU staff, four-star tight end Jelani Thurman will suit up in the scarlet and gray once he reaches the collegiate level.
Currently considered the ninth-best tight end and 135th overall prospect in the 2023 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Thurman chose the Buckeyes over a long list of opportunities from programs across the country. Earning around 30 scholarship offers throughout his recruiting process, OSU beat out the likes of Alabama, Auburn, and Michigan State for the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Fairborn, Georgia native.
Wanting to add a pair of tight ends in this class, the Buckeyes found their man to team up with long time OSU commit Ty Lockwood. Thurman, a pass catching threat with great athleticism, has shown his big play ability time and time again for Langston Hughes High (GA). Last season for the 13-2 Panthers, Jelani hauled in 31 receptions for 479 yards, and seven touchdowns, while also racking up 61 tackles on defense as a junior.
The son of Georgia alums, former NFL linebacker Odell Thurman and WNBA power forward Kara Braxton, 247Sports recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks had the following to say on how Thurman’s game could transfer to the next level:
“Great height and elite frame with long arms and a large catch radius. Varied snaps flexed out, attached, and as an H-back. Owns the body to stay personnel-flexible for the long run. Generally catches the ball away from his body and shows above-average plucking ability. Dangerous in contested situations as a ball winner whose physical tools overwhelm defenders. Multi-sport athlete who plays basketball and transfers that functional athleticism to the gridiron. Shows encouraging conviction as a blocker. Flashes pop in his hands and makes disengaging difficult for opposing defenders. Also has played defensive end to add another valuable layer to strong overall athletic profile. A bit high-cut and can improve pad level as a blocker. Tight-ankled at times, resulting in rounded-off routes. Natural football player but raw technically relative to position-specific technique. On-the-rise tight end prospect who could become one of the better at the position in the 2023 class. Projects to the high-major level with a ton of potential that could ultimately lead to playing beyond college.”
The Land-Grant Holy Land recruiting team will have much more on Thurman’s commitment coming soon. In the meantime, you probably would like to see his skills for yourself? Check out these highlights of the newest Buckeye pledge in action last season for Langston Hughes: