Brighton senior Emmanuel Thurman signs a football scholarship with Bethel University. Photo by Jeff Ireland

On a lot of high school football teams, especially large ones like Brighton, most players specialize in one position.

Brighton senior Emmanuel Thurman was an outlier.

His primary role the last three seasons was as a lockdown cornerback, but he also played running back and wideout and seemed to never be on the sidelines watching.


That versatility, not to mention top notch speed and athleticism, caught the attention of various college football programs. In the end, Thurman determined that Bethel University was the best fit for him. Family members, teammates and coaches watched Thurman make his decision official last Thursday when he signed with the McKenzie, Tenn. school.

“He’s got great speed and agility,” said former coach Mike David, who attended the signing. “He never really left the field; he can play both ways. He’s just a lockdown corner, ran the ball some for us and was one of our top wide receivers. I think he can play either one and he can do great at either one.”

Thurman said the Bethel coaching staff plans to utilize him at wideout and that was one of the reasons he chose the school. He said he began to realize he could possibly play at the next level during his sophomore year and pointed out that his teammates and coaches played a big role in his development.

“The relationships with the coaches and players really helped me as a person and player develop on and off the field,” he said.

Thurman battled some injury issues throughout his senior season, but they didn’t seem to slow him down at all.

“When I think about him I think of a warrior,” David said. “He was hurt a lot last year but he was out there playing as hard as he could. I was really proud of him.”

Jeff Ireland
Author: Jeff Ireland