Saturday, June 2, 2012

Maurice Hurst Jr., Wolverine

Maurice Hurst, Jr. (#11)
(image via New England Prep Stars)
Westwood (MA) Xaverian Brothers defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, Jr. committed to Michigan today.  He chose the Wolverines over offers from Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, and several others.

Hurst is a 6'2", 285 lb. defensive tackle who had 61 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and 9 sacks as a junior in 2011.  As a part-time fullback, he also had 18 carries for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns.  He claims a 4.88 forty-yard dash.

ESPN: 3-star, 77 grade, #34 DT
Rivals: 3-star, #30 DT
Scout: 4-star, #23 DT
247 Sports: 4-star, 90 grade, #19 DT

Hurst is the son of former New England Patriots cornerback Maurice Hurst, whom I probably would have forgotten about or never known except for playing Madden football on Super Nintendo back in the old days.  Drew Bledsoe kicked much ass in that game.  Anyway, he was known to have a strong affinity for Michigan and said several weeks ago that there was a strong chance he would commit upon visiting.  Then he visited East Lansing yesterday and saw what kind of hell hole that place is, so it only makes sense that he would pick Ann Arbor as his college destination.  His father went to Southern University, in case you were wondering.

When I watch a highlight film like Hurst's, I always think about what former Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron said about recruiting: You recruit guys who are athletic, and then you coach them up.  Hurst is athletic, and the best thing about him (other than being big and fast, of course) is that he really seems to be passionate about football.  After making a good play, he shows some excitement without showing up the other team.  I like the attitude he displays.

For being the son of a former NFL football player, I would think Hurst would be a more technically sound player, but that doesn't appear to be the case.  There are only a handful of plays on the highlight film below where he fires off the ball and creates penetration by beating the blocker.  There are way too many occasions where he waits for the offensive lineman to fire out on him and then just uses superior quickness to swat the offensive guy to the side.  That won't work in college.  He needs to gain ground with that first step and reset the line of scrimmage.  One clip shows him planting an offensive guard on his butt; however, that should probably happen more frequently with the size/speed advantage he has over his opponents.

Overall, Hurst has a nice set of athletic talents, but he's a bit of a blank canvas.  Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery has some work to do to turn Hurst into a good college player.  If he matures and develops, Hurst has the potential to be a very good 3-tech defensive tackle because he has the athleticism to beat a lot of offensive guards when being single blocked.  Hurst lacks the technique, consistency, and strength that allowed undersized Mike Martin to play nose tackle and defeat double teams, so I don't think he has much position flexibility.

Hurst will probably be headed for a redshirt in 2013 with Willie Henry one class ahead of him and Jibreel Black likely being the returning starter at 3-tech that season.

This gives Michigan 19 commits for the class of 2013.  Technically, Michigan has 20 open spots and can only take one more guy, but attrition always occurs.  The coaches will continue to pursue a nose tackle prospect and a strongside end for the class, which many project to get up to 24 or so.

TTB Rating: 73


  1. I really like this commitment. The Orgeron quote is fitting. Even if a kid tends to play high, if there are just a couple of highlights where the kid stays low and explodes into the backfield, then you know the potential is there. As with Willie Henry, both of these can can really get of the ball quickly when they want to.

  2. I was just looking through the TTB ratings for the 2013 class and I was wondering if you will update them if a player has performed well or underperformed in a competitive setting. For example, David Dawson's grade is very low, despite recent camp dominance.

    1. Camp performances don't really affect the ratings because I think camps are pretty useless. However, many of the ratings will change during/after the kids' senior years based on film, growth spurts, etc.

    2. Alright, thanks for the reply.

  3. Excited by the commit...then again, I'm excited about every commit on the OL or DL. Keep 'em coming. Keep the talent on the lines pouring in and the rest will be taken care of.

  4. A nice conservative 73, which I like for this prospect. His technique needs a bit of work, but kid is athletic. With his athleticism, I would assume he has a decent work ethic. With a decent work ethic, I imagine he'll respond to the coaching he's going to receive, and go beast mode. HOWEVA, if that series of events doesn't pan out like I imagine, at the very minimal he'll be an exceptional special teams player, and hopefully a serviceable back-up. You should do a post on how you would like the remaining spots to close off. There's only room for ~4 left. Treadwell, Poggi, Mathis, and Green would be pretty solid.

    Again, thanks for these posts, they're great.


  5. This kid makes me think of Billy Harris who I have always thought of as way under appreciated on account of having spent his entire career playing next to Mark Messner, Mike Hammerstein or both.