Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit fell 31-24 in a contest that went to overtime against Tampa (Fla.) Gaither in the Florida 3M state quarterfinals Friday night, ending the junior season for Notre Dame class of 2025 running back commit Justin Thurman.
Blue & Gold was on site for the drama-filled matchup and has clips of Thurman in the video player at the top of this article.
The four-star running back ran 11 times for 49 yards with 1 touchdown, while adding 4 receptions for 17 yards.
Jesuit had a 24-10 lead in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get anything going offensively, while Gaither took ahold of the game’s momentum, tying the game at 24-24 late and won in overtime.
The Jesuit offense was pass-happy on the night, as class of 2026 quarterback and Notre Dame target Will Griffin completed 20 of 33 attempts for 259 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. The 6-2.5, 225-pounder picked up an offer from the Fighting Irish Oct. 11.
Jesuit’s first offensive play of the game went for more than 30 yards via a Thurman run, but it was called back due to holding. Thurman’s carries were sporadic throughout the evening. The 6-0, 180-pounder was at his best out in space, showing off his reported 4.4 40-yard dash speed.
From what Blue & Gold saw Friday night and on his midseason junior highlight tape, Thurman’s biggest runs are on sweep tosses and when he’s able to bounce runs to the outside. He’ll need to continue his development as a runner between the tackles during his senior campaign.
Thurman, who ranks as the nation’s No. 278 overall player and No. 21 running back according to the 2025 On3 Industry Ranking, recorded 159 carries for 755 yards with 13 touchdowns heading into Friday night’s game, plus 18 receptions for 181 yards and 3 scores. The pass-catching element of Thurman’s game as a running back is one of his best attributes.
Thurman is originally from St. Louis and attended De Smet Jesuit — the same high school that produced Irish freshman cornerback Christian Gray — before transferring to Tampa Jesuit ahead of his sophomore year.
He’s close with Gray and St. Louis Christian Brothers running back Jeremiyah Love, who also signed with Notre Dame in the 2023 class. He’s even met former Irish running back and St. Louis native Kyren Williams before.
His father, James, was a wide receiver at Florida A&M in the early 1990s.