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Meet the Commit: Justin Thurman Class of 2025

Written by Mike Stacey |Writer| Twitter: @MikeStaceyIT IG: @mikestaceyit

Photo By: Justin Thurman

I had the opportunity to talk with Notre Dame running back commit, Justin Thurman out of Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida. Justin is a member of the 2025 class and is rated as the number 23 RB in the country and has a 4 star status according to 247 Sports. Listed at 6 ft and 180lbs, Thurman is a dynamic player that fits the mold of what the Irish covet at running back. He can run, catch, and return Kicks/Punts. Thurman runs a reported 4.40 40-yard dash and a 10.84 100 meter, so speed is something he certainly does not lack. He has quick hitter potential, someone who can make a move and take it to the house. It will be exciting to see how much he improves next season as he continues to work on his trade and add strength. This is a kid who may have a breakout season as a senior. With that being said, he had a great junior season this year, finishing with 812 yard rushing, 198 yards receiving and 17 total touchdowns. Aside from being a great talent on the field, Justin seems like a Notre Dame man already in my brief conversation I had with him, continuing the excellent standard that Marcus Freeman and this University has instilled into this program. Now let's get to the interview!

What was the recruitment process like for you?

Justin: "Ever since 8th grade I have been going to football camps and visited multiple schools, but really in this past spring my recruitment started to ramp up when I received multiple offers from multiple schools in many conferences. I received my offer from Notre Dame in late May and I went to their camp in mid-June. After my visit there I fell in love with the place-the environment, the people, the coaching staff, just the whole feel and vibe is just amazing there. They had a grill and chill for some of their recruits and I went back up there for that and that's when I decided to commit. It felt like the right place holistically in terms of the academics, athletics, the coaching staff, environment and people, it just felt like home to me and the best place to spend my next 3 to 4 years at."

What were some of the main factors in deciding on a school and how did Notre Dame check those boxes?

Justin: "Well the main thing was academics. Academics comes first for me and Notre Dame's reputation speaks for itself. The academics there are absolutely stellar. They actually have a Real Estate minor program that I am interested in, I'm interested in Real Estate, and they have an amazing business school. Also, the fit with the coaching staff. Coach Mccullogh, when I met him, I just felt like I had a great connection. I understand the way he coaches, how he interacts with not only his players but all the players and coaches, he's just a family guy and wants what's best for us. I feel like his coaching will not only put us in the best position for football but also for life. Also, coach Freeman, he's a great guy. A family guy at heart, a great coach and the mindset and mentality that he brings to the team is just great. Chad Bowden and Dre Brown have also done an amazing job of showcasing what Notre Dame is, what it represents in life and what it can do for you in football and outside of it, in terms of the opportunities you may have outside of football."

Where do you see yourself fitting into the offense?

Justin: "The plan is for me to be a versatile back. My skill set is being able to pass block, catch out of the backfield, being able to run hard, special teams- I'm a punt and kick returner, heck I've even been on PAT. Just being able to utilize my versatility. Use my speed and explosiveness which I think will contribute greatly to the offense. Also, I forgot to mention, I did play a little cornerback last year too, so I know a little bit of defense too. I know how to utilize my skill set to the most in any way. Being able to have great vision to see the holes, use my footwork if it the hole isn't open, run hard, high and tight, just run like a mad man. I heard a lot of people say I run angry so..."

What are some of your goals for this upcoming season?

Justin: "The main thing is a state championship. We unfortunately fell short this year. I also want to showcase what I can do as a running back and improve my numbers. This year I had 1145 All Purpose Yards, 812 rushing yards, and 198 receiving yards so those are good numbers, but I definitely want to improve off of that. You can always find ways to improve yourself and get better, and those are just a few goals that I have."

What are some of your hobbies outside of football?

Justin: "One of my hobbies is Track. I run the 100M, 200M, and 4 by 1. I run a 10.84 100M. That is my fastest time, but I believe I can run faster and that is one of my goals. I want to get down to 10.6 this year. I am also a 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo, I have been doing that for as long as I can remember. That has been a great hobby in terms of the training, discipline, the skillsets and life lesson I can utilize from Taekwondo not only in life, but also in football. I also like to research Real Estate when I don't have too much homework or just bored to be honest."

Any other unique things about you or likes that you want to share with the fans?

Justin: "I like to travel around the country. Before I moved to Florida we used to live in St. Louis. We used to come down here all the time because 90% of my family lives in Orlando and Tampa area. I have also been to New York City, South Bend (haha), Chicago, Arizona, Texas, and I plan to go back to Detroit where I am originally from. I moved away from there when I was very young so I want to revisit my roots."

Who is the funniest guy in your 2024 class?

Justin: "Ohhh that's a good question! Me personally, I think I'm the funniest, but if I am going to pick someone else, probably Deuce Knight. Especially when we are playing Fortnite. He is a funny, down to earth guy. He's a great friend to have and I'm excited for the next 3-4 years to be playing with him. He's a great player and person. I am glad to have him in the class and as a friend."

Speaking of video games, who's the best gamer in the class?

Justin: "Uhhh I would say CJ May. We played a couple 1 v 1 in Fortnite against me, Deuce and him, and he beat me a couple times. I haven't been able to beat him yet, but it's all good. He is pretty good."

Who is the most intimidating guy in the class?

Justin: "I really never thought about that. Probably Davion Dixon. He's a great friend too, but he can be intimidating, in a good way. He's a great player as well. He may be intimidating when you first meet him but once you get to know him, he's a down to earth guy, he's chill."

Lastly, any message you want to leave for the fans?

Justin: "In the Notre Dame 2025 and 2024 class I feel like we are building one of the best teams in the country. Look out for us. We are going to be showing out, putting on for Notre Dame in South Bend and also showing the rest of the country what we can do. Hopefully we bring Notre Dame back to the National Championship."

I hope you enjoyed the article and please give Justin a follow on IG and X (Twitter) to show him some support! Go Irish!

X (Twitter): @JAT_2025

IG: @just1nt_


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