Justin Thurman’s recruitment started taking off in the spring. The 2025 Florida running back announced scholarship offers from Tennessee and Rutgers on March 28. Kansas reportedly offered last summer.
Florida offered on April 6. Opportunities from Toledo, Florida A&M, Kansas State, Coastal Carolina, Iowa, Vanderbilt, NC State, Indiana, UAB, Charlotte, Louisville, Auburn, Central Florida, MTSU, Notre Dame and Purdue have arrived since then.
Iowa Football jumped in during the middle of that flurry. The Hawkeyes offered a scholarship on May 5. He visited the Big Ten school during the middle of this month.
The program invited some of its top targets in the ’25 class and beyond for a lunch barbecue, facility tour, meetings with position coaches, time with head coach Kirk Ferentz, and a Q&A with current student-athletes.
“The entire day was great,” Thurman said. “My relationship with the staff is good and is continuing to grow. I learned a lot about the University of Iowa, the program, and the coaches through my conversations with them.”
Speaking with Ferentz and running back coach Ladell Betts stood out to Thurman.
“I was intrigued by coach Betts’ personal story and experience as a former player and now coach at Iowa as well as coach Ferentz’s backstory and his long-time coaching at Iowa are unique in themselves. The culture there is one where I could see myself fitting into,” he said.
Thurman has visited numerous campuses. He liked what he saw and heard at Iowa.
“Iowa City is very much a college-town setting and is pretty cool. I got an opportunity to see a little bit of the city while visiting. The people there are huge fans of the University of Iowa. The university gives me a vibe of a modern setting and is a very nice campus,” he said.
Interacting with a panel of current student-athletes represented a highlight for Thurman during his Iowa visit.
“They openly shared their thoughts as current players. They each gave reasons why they chose Iowa, and what it takes to be a successful player there. They each love the consistency and history amongst the coaching staff there. They talked about the family environment and team culture, and also how there will be challenges, but if you put in the work Iowa can help you to be successful in college and beyond,” he said.
Thurman reconnected with a high school teammate, Jarriett Buie, a freshman receiver during the stop. Former Hawkeye safety Dane Belton also played for their Tampa (FL) Jesuit program.
The Hawkeyes have put themselves firmly in the mix as Thurman navigates his recruiting process.
“Iowa has piqued my interest. I learned a lot during my visit and want to continue to build the relationship. If there is an opportunity, I could possibly get back for a game-day experience at Iowa,” he said.
Rivals, On3 and 247Sports all rank Thurman as a four-star prospect. They have him among their Top 30 running backs nationally in the ’25 Class.