The search is over.
Ever since Ty Lockwood committed to Ohio State last August, the Buckeyes have been searching for another tight end to pair alongside him in their 2023 cycle. OSU landed its top remaining priority target when Jelani Thurman committed to Ohio State on Sunday.
Thurman became OSU’s second and final tight end of the current class and the 19th commit in total. He’s ranked as the 135th-best player and ninth-best tight end in the 2023 class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings.
The Thurman File
- Class: 2023
- Size: 6-5/230
- Pos: Tight end
- School: Langston Hughes (Fairburn, GA)
- Star Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: #135 (#9 TE)
The Georgia prospect was first offered by the Buckeyes in February, then made his first visit to Columbus on April 16 for Ohio State’s spring game. He took four official visits this summer, which included trips to Auburn, Alabama, Michigan State and Ohio State. OSU got the final official visit from Thurman, who made the trip to Columbus on June 24-26.
While those were his final four schools, the race really came down to Michigan State and Ohio State, a rare final two for a premier Southern prospect. Michigan State was more than just a hat on a table, as Thurman’s family has plenty of connections to the Michigan area.
But in the end, the Buckeyes were able to win out in the recruitment, selling him on their pitch of development and the ability to compete for conference and national championships. In turn, the Buckeyes view Thurman as a tight end capable of excelling as both a blocker and a pass-catcher down the road.
|WR||BRANDON INNISS||★★★★★||#18 NATL | #2 WR||6-0 | 190||American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)|
|WR||CARNELL TATE||★★★★★||#28 NATL | #3 WR||6-2 | 185||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)|
|OT||LUKE MONTGOMERY||★★★★||#42 NATL | #4 OT||6-5 | 280||Findlay (Findlay, OH)|
|WR||NOAH ROGERS||★★★★||#51 NATL | #9 WR||6-2 | 180||Rolesville (Rolesville, NC)|
|DL||JASON MOORE||★★★★||#53 NATL | #5 DL||6-6 | 255||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD)|
|CB||DIJON JOHNSON||★★★★||#95 NATL | #11 CB||6-1 | 190||Wharton (Tampa, FL)|
|TE||TY LOCKWOOD||★★★★||#133 NATL | #8 TE||6-5 | 225||Independence (Thompson's Station, TN)|
|TE||JELANI THURMAN||★★★★||#135 NATL | #9 TE||6-5 | 230||Langston Hughes (Fairburn, GA)|
|CB||KAYIN LEE||★★★★||#146 NATL | #18 CB||6-2.5 | 175||Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, GA)|
|S||MALIK HARTFORD||★★★★||#149 NATL | #8 S||6-2.5 | 175||Lakota West (West Chester, OH)|
|CB||CALVIN SIMPSON-HUNT||★★★★||#173 NATL | #22 CB||6-0 | 175||Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas)|
|IOL||JOSHUA PADILLA||★★★★||#180 NATL | #8 IOL||6-4 | 265||Wayne (Dayton, OH)|
|S||CEDRICK HAWKINS||★★★★||#211 NATL | #14 S||6-0 | 175||Cocoa (Cocoa, FL)|
|RB||MARK FLETCHER||★★★★||#221 NATL | #11 RB||6-1 | 225||American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale, FL)|
|OL||AUSTIN SIEREVELD||★★★★||#222 NATL | #10 IOL||6-5 | 320||Lakota East (Middletown, OH)|
|WR||BRYSON RODGERS||★★★★||#267 NATL | #32 WR||6-0.5 | 175||Wiregrass Ranch (Zephyrhills, FL)|
|CB||JERMAINE MATHEWS||★★★★||#358 NATL | #21 ATH||6-0 | 175||Winton Woods (Cincinnati, OH)|
|DL||WILL SMITH JR.||★★★||#452 NATL | #55 DL||6-3 | 260||Dublin Coffman (Dublin, OH)|
|OL||MILES WALKER||★★★||#463 NATL | #38 OT||6-6 | 285||Brunswick High School (Greenwich, CT)|
|Prospect Rating Data: 247Sports|
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound prospect caught 31 passes for 479 yards and seven touchdowns last season en route to helping Langston Hughes High School (Fairburn, Georgia) to a state title game appearance.
Notre Dame briefly took the No. 1 spot in 247Sports’ national recruiting class rankings Friday when it landed the commitment of wideout Jaden Greathouse. With Thurman’s commitment to OSU on Sunday, the Buckeyes are back in the No. 1 spot in what looks like it could be a continued seesaw affair between now and December.
Thurman picked OSU over offers from Georgia, Alabama, Michigan State, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Grambling State, Indiana, Kentucky, Liberty, LSU, Miami, Michigan, NC State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, UCF, USC, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech.