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2025 running back Justin Thurman discusses Vols’ coaches, recruitment, scheme

Four-star running back Justin Thurman unofficially visited Tennessee on April 15 for the Orange & White Game.

The 6-foot, 180-pound running back is from Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida. Tennessee offered a scholarship to Thurman on March 28.

Thurman discussed his visit to Tennessee and updated his recruitment with Vols Wire.

“The spring game was the biggest takeaway for me during my visit,” Thurman said. “I got a glimpse of the huge fan base, especially with almost 60,000 fans attending. I also got to tour the facilities and see a video of the new additions coming, big things are happening here.”

Thurman is building a relationship with running backs coach Jerry Mack and graduate assistant Aston Walter.

“We got off to a great start when they offered and when I went to visit for the spring game,” Thurman said about his relationship with Tennessee’s staff. “Coach Mack and coach Walter spent significant time talking with me about the program and how I could fit into the program at Tennessee.

“I have reached out on a few follow-up conversations and am learning more each time we talk.”

Tennessee assistant coach Jerry Mack. Dan Harralson/Vols Wire

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Thurman values development of student-athletes on and off the field, which coach Mack addressed during his visit.

“Coach Mack spoke of the culture and plans for Tennessee to remain a dominant program,” Thurman said. “They talked about player education, development and a chance for opportunities at the next level, all are important to me.”

Tennessee has emerged as a top school in Thurman’s recruitment.

“Tennessee has a top-level football program,” he said. “My initial visit left a lasting impression after meeting coach (Josh) Heupel and spending time with coach Mack and coach Walter. Tennessee is among my top schools of interest.”

Thurman is the No. 266 prospect in the class of 2025. He is the No. 26 running back and the No. 40 player in Florida, according to On3’s industry rankings.

“I can see myself fitting into the offensive scheme at Tennessee because of the way they incorporate their backs into the scheme,” Thurman said. “Multiple backs are used and are incorporated into the passing game, too. Overall, it’s mainly a high tempo, inside zone scheme.”

Thurman plans to make multiple visits to Tennessee in 2023.

“I am planning to get back to Tennessee to continue to develop our relationship further, and learn more about the University of Tennessee and the football program,” he said. “I am planning an early June visit and possibly a game visit in the fall.”

Thurman will take time throughout his recruiting process before committing to a school.

“Since my recruitment has recently picked up, I want to learn as much as I can about all the programs interested in me, the culture, the academics, as well as get to know the coaches and the staff,” he said. “Building relationships is a critical driver. All of this will help me determine the best fit for me.”

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Story originally appeared on Vols Wire