Michigan State in ‘Top 8’ for Jelani Thurman

Langston Hughes (Fairburn, Ga.) 2023 tight end Jelani Thurman posted his “Top 8” in his recruiting this afternoon, and the Spartans were among those making the cut for the talented prospect.

Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Auburn, Tennessee, Ole miss and Miami (FL.) complete the list.

The Spartans find themselves on this list just days after hosting Thurman on an unofficial visit this weekend for the spring game. Michigan State offered him a return in October on Halloween, just a day after the Spartans defeated arch-rival Michigan.

Outside of Michigan State, there are strong contenders here with heavyweights such as Alabama and Ohio State in the mix for Thurman. Mel Tucker and tight ends coach Ted Gilmore did a good job of keeping the Spartans in the mix for Thurman.

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Michigan State already has a committed tight end in the 2023 class in four-star Dexter (MI.) Brennan Parachek. Often fans will think that a prior commitment to a position like tight end will keep us from running for another prospect, but that’s not the case here. Two tight systems are becoming more and more normal in the college football landscape with air raid offenses.

It should be noted that Parachek isn’t worried about potentially having a second tight end in the class and has in fact publicly recruited Thurman to team up with him at East Lansing.

Thurman possesses a strong ability to catch defenders using his elite athleticism. He also serves as a defensive end and has the ability to potentially play on that side of the ball at the college level. He comes from an athletic background, his father Odell Thurman stood out at Georgia where he won All-SEC honors at linebacker and was a Butkus Award semi-finalist in 2004. He was later selected second turn in the 2005 Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals where he played from 2005 to 2007. His mother also stood out in Georgia before being selected 7th overall in the 2005 WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock. She won two championships with the Shock and was All-Star in 2007. She also played for the Tulsa Shock, Phoenix Mercury and New York Liberty from 2010 to 2014.

Thurman is ranked as a four-star prospect and the 133rd ranked player in the 247sports composite. He is also the ninth ranked tight end and the 14th ranked player in the state of Georgia.

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