Athletic tight end Jelani Thurman signs with the Buckeyes

Ohio State’s path to landing a tight end in this class took some interesting twists and turns but the Buckeyes have their guy now as four-star Fairburn (Ga.) Langston Hughes star Jelani Thurman has signed his letter of intent.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound prospect committed to Ohio State over the summer but that never stopped other schools from trying to poach him away from the Buckeyes, most notably Auburn. The Buckeyes turned away a December push from the Tigers and are bringing a dynamic athlete into the fold.


A lot of the same traits that Ohio State really liked about Jeremy Ruckert a few years ago are present with Thurman. Thurman and Ruckert have similar physical profiles, both played a lot of wide receiver at the high school level and bring a basketball player’s athleticism to the football field.

Thurman will probably need a year in the weight room to be ready to play tight end at Ohio State. Much like Ruckert, Ohio State will still want to use Thurman in line quite frequently and so adding weight and getting more comfortable as a blocker will dictate just how quickly he can make an impact in Columbus. But there is no question that Thurman’s upside is sky high and if he can figure out the blocking component, he has a chance to be a big-time player.

The Buckeyes committed to using the tight end more in the passing game this season and getting an athlete like Thurman at the position is great timing to continue that emphasis on utilizing the tight end.

Take a closer look at Jelani Thurman below in our Signing Day recruiting capsule series.

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