Four-star 2023 Tight End Jelani Thurman Commits to Ohio State

By Garrick Hodge on July 17, 2022 at 1:06 pm
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GRAAAAAAAAAAY BOX
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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.

Pos Name Rating Rank Size School
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.

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