Name: Maurice Hurst, Jr.
Weight: 282 lbs.
High school: Westwood (MA) Xaverian Brothers
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #73
Last year: I ranked Hurst #24 and said he would be a part-time starting defensive tackle. He made 34 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass breakup.
TTB Rating: 78
Hurst was considered by some to be a top-30 national player going into 2016, but I had him ranked #24 on the team. He didn’t start a game, and he still put up some outstanding numbers for a nose tackle. Most offensive linemen can’t handle his combination of quickness and power by themselves, and they can’t always get help. Hurst was 10th on the team in tackles, 5th in tackles for loss, and 4th in sacks – not bad for a backup.
It was a little strange that a potential first round pick in Hurst was behind Matt Godin last season, but it kept intact a solid second unit that never gave offenses a rest. Michigan still has a good group of defensive linemen, but they’re younger and thinner, and Hurst’s playmaking is needed more. The Wolverines don’t have the same room for injury this season, and Hurst is a guy who can play virtually any position on the defensive line. This should be a big year for Hurst, and he fits well into a defense that likes to slant and blitz. He’s a potential All-American if he produces in a starting role, and he should also be a first team all-conference selection.
Prediction: Starting defensive tackle