|Maurice Hurst, Jr. (image via MGoBlog)|
Weight: 281 lbs.
High school: Westwood (MA) Xaverian Brothers
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #73
Last year: I ranked Hurst #41 and said he would be a backup nose tackle. He made 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 blocked extra point.
Hurst earned quite a bit of buzz during the spring of 2014 and in practice last season, but it never translated into a great deal of playing time. He appeared in eight games and made 3 tackles total. However, he was not one of those guys who made all his tackles against Appalachian State and then disappeared. His TFL came against Notre Dame, his extra point block came against Rutgers, etc. This is a player who appears to be working his way up the depth chart the old-fashioned way - by earning it in practice, having some success on the field, and showing why he should be on the field.
Hurst spent the spring game making David Dawson look silly and getting in the backfield, so that may mean good things are on their way. Unfortunately, Hurst plays a position where Michigan has a lot of depth, including redshirt junior Ryan Glasgow and sophomore Bryan Mone, not to mention redshirt junior Willie Henry, who can play nose tackle or 3-tech tackle. While nobody has proven to be a star just yet, there is potential for a couple of these guys to earn accolades and raise their draft status. I like Hurst as a situational pass rush guy, but his size is a question mark for an every-down player on the nose. I expect him to improve his stock incrementally this season.
Prediction: Backup nose tackle