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Ohio State reclaims top spot after adding four-star tight end from Georgia

The Buckeyes push ahead of the Irish yet again in the recruiting rankings after welcoming their latest pledge to the fold.

Jelani Thurman
Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Ohio State was back at it again on the recruiting trail this weekend, as it was Kevin Wilson hitting a home run and securing a pledge from another blue-chip tight end as the final piece to the puzzle at the position. Plus, a top offensive line target reveals an upcoming decision date and shows the program they are still in the running for his coveted commitment.

Thurman picks the Buckeyes

Despite entering the weekend with 2023 four-star tight end Ty Lockwood of Independence (TN) already in the fold, it was no secret that tight ends coach Kevin Wilson was always looking to add another at the position in hopes of welcoming much-needed talent to the position room.

While it was no secret that the Buckeyes were in the running for 2023 four-star tight end Jelani Thurman of Langston Hughes (GA), the Fairburn native decided on Sunday that he was ready to fill the vacancy in the class and become the second piece of the tight end puzzle.

Thurman, a noted Spider-Man fan, gathered close to 30 offers from programs across the country but ultimately decided on Ohio State over the likes of Alabama, Auburn Jackson State, Michigan State, and many more. It is notable that Georgia was not considered a finalist in this recruitment despite the fact that his father, the late Odell Thurman, spent his collegiate career in Athens before being drafted to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The pick up for the Buckeyes is certainly one that should not be understated. Thurman becomes yet another blue-chip prospect on the offensive side of the ball to claim their spot in the class and the addition of Thurman actually pushed Ohio State back in front of Notre Dame for the top slot in the team recruiting rankings.

Thurman is currently graded as the No. 135 prospect overall in this years recruiting class. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder also slots in as the ninth highest graded player among all tight ends and is also listed as the eleventh best prospect that the state of Georgia has to offer.

Alinen sets decision date

With Thurman now in the fold for the Buckeyes, perhaps the program can shift their focus up front for newly hired offensive line coach Justin Frye.

Despite Ohio State already having pledges from the likes of Luke Montgomery, Joshua Padilla, Austin Siereveld, and Miles Walker, the Buckeyes are hoping to add long-time target and four-star offensive tackle Olaus Alinen of The Loomis Chaffee School (CT) to join the quartet. The key here is that the Buckeyes won’t have to wait too much longer to learn their fate with the current Windsor native.

On Friday evening, Alinen revealed that he will be making his decision on July 22. Among the programs still being considered for the Finland standout include Alabama, Georgia, Miami (FL), Ohio State, and Oregon.

Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, it is the Hurricanes who are surging on the 247Sports Crystal Ball as the likely landing spot for Alinen. We will have to stay tuned to see if that changes before decision day arrives for the 6-foot-6, 315-pounder.

Nonetheless, Alinen currently slots in as a Top 150 prospect in the class as he currently stands at No. 132 overall. The hopeful Buckeye also is penciled in as the 15th best offensive tackle in the class and the very best prospect from the state of Connecticut.

Quick Hits

  • After offering back in January of this year and securing an official visit just a couple of months later, the Buckeyes now know where they stand in their pursuit of 2023 small forward Scotty Middleton of Sunrise Christian (KS). On Sunday, the Wichita native announced that he will be making his collegiate commitment on Aug. 6, and will be choosing between Connecticut, Kansas, Ohio State, Seton Hall, and Texas A&M.
  • Much like Middleton, 2023 combo guard Taison Chatman of Totino-Grace (MN) also revealed the finalist in his recruitment this weekend. The No. 47 prospect overall and top-ranked player in his respective state announced a top five that includes the likes of Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio State, Virginia, and Xavier.
  • On the gridiron side of things, the Buckeyes did see a pair of targets head elsewhere this weekend. Despite including Ohio State as a finalist, 2023 four-star linebacker Troy Bowles of Jesuit (FL) announced his pledge to Georgia and 2023 four-star running back Justice Haynes of Buford (GA) chose Alabama this weekend.