Saturday, June 8, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #82 Maurice Hurst, Jr.

Maurice Hurst, Jr. (#50, with Ross Douglas)
Name: Maurice Hurst, Jr.
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 290 lbs.
High school: Westwood (MA) Xaverian Brothers
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #73
Last year: Hurst was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 78.

Hurst committed to Michigan just over a year ago in June 2012. Doubling as a high school fullback, he garnered enough hype to be invited to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.  He performed well in that game and was too powerful for many of the offensive linemen present, although the competition isn't quite as good as the U.S. Army and Under Armour games.

As a short, quick, and powerful player, I expect Hurst to be a nose tackle. Michigan seems pretty set at the position with fifth year senior Quinton Washington and sophomore Ondre Pipkins, along with a couple unproven guys in Richard Ash and Willie Henry, so Hurst should be able to redshirt this season.  There are good numbers along the defensive line, and he has some technical issues to work through, so there's no need to rush him onto the field.

Prediction: Redshirt


  1. If only because of experience, I'd expect Washington to start at NT, but none of the players you mention is a proven star. I don't think it's that unlikely that Hurst could wind up at least as a backup and see some game action this year. Maybe no more than Pipkins did last year, but if he picks up technique, he is as talented and athletic as anyone we have at that position.

    1. Only because of experience? Washington played very well last year and is the clear starter. While I think Hurst will be a good player in a few years, his situation is different than Pipkins. We have much better depth this year at NT, so we don't need to rush Hurst into duty. Even Pipkins could have used a redshirt last year if we would have had good depth. He struggled for a portion of the season as a true freshman.

    2. Washington was decent against the run last year, but nothing special, and he wasn't getting into backfield a lot. On paper, he has to be considered the leader for the starting job this year, but any of Pipkins, Henry or Hurst could potentially outdistance him (Ash is not likely to do anything). Washington started last year mainly because we had nobody else even remotely good, not because he beat out tough competition, and I certainly wouldn't consider his starting spot assured for the season, as opposed to someone like Lewan.

      And I hope we don't "need" Hurst to play, but if he's one of the best two guys at that position, then he SHOULD play, regardless of how many other bodies we have.

    3. Pipkins didn't displace Washington last year. There's no reason to think Hurst will displace him this year. It's fairly rare for true freshman to contribute to the interior defensive line anyway.

    4. True, but I think you are overestimating the chance he is one of the best 2. I would think that a 5th year senior and a 5 star with one year of college experience and weight lifting would be ahead of him. Given the technical requirements to being a successful DT and the significant size and speed difference between college OL and high school OL, it would seem we have 2 if not 4 better options to playing him as a true freshman. Plus, although Washington isn't elite, I think you are understating his abilities. Further, the nose guard doesn't need to be the one blowing into the backfield after the QB. We need Clark and black to be the ones doing that.

    5. Well, not true. In fact MGoBlog had a fairly extensive piece last summer documenting exactly the fact that DT is one of the positions that highly ranked true freshmen have the greatest likelihood of making an impact at. It's been rare for it to happen at Michigan because we've had mediocre recruits and mediocre coaching there for a long time, but that may be changing. And I'm certainly not expecting Hurst to crack the two deep right from the start. But I've seen true freshman DTs better than anyone we have now. Guys who get great penetration, disrupt plays and demand double teams, even if they don't get after the QB. Hurst may not be one of those guys, but then, again he may be, once he gets his feet wet.

    6. I'd like to read that post. Can you find the link?

  2. Agree about this year. Behind Wash and Pipkins, and a couple other depth guys, it's unlikely he will play. Long term, I think he could be great.

    This is a strange comparison perhaps, but he remind me of Mike Hart in doing some eye-catching things playing against weak HS competition.