Hello: Maurice Hurst Jr.

Submitted by Ace on June 2nd, 2012 at 3:10 PM


Image credit: Brendan Hall/ESPN.com

As anticipated, Westwood (MA) Xavarian Brothers DT Maurice Hurst Jr. has committed to Michigan while visiting campus today, according to a report by 247's Todd Worly ($). Hurst is the son of former New England Patriots cornerback Maurice Hurst and is also a cousin of former St. Louis Rams superstar tailback Marshall Faulk. He becomes Michigan's 19th commit in the class of 2013 and the first at defensive tackle, perhaps the biggest position of need remaining in the class.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 Sports
4*, #23 DT,
#213 Ovr
3*, #30 DT 3*, 77, #32 DT 4*, 90, #19 DT

Hurst's rankings are split between Scout and 247, which see him as a four-star and around the #20 defensive tackle in the country, and Rivals and ESPN, which have him as a three-star and in the area of #30 at his position. All four sites list Hurst at 6'2", with his weight ranging from 275 (Scout/ESPN) to 290 (247). WolverineNation's Chantel Jennings wrote a recent feature on Hurst detailing his rise from a "pudgy" 5'9" freshman to a 6'2" BCS prospect and pegged his current weight at 290 pounds ($).

Hurst first started emerging on the scene around this time last year, impressing Rivals.com's Mike Farrell at the Northeast Five-Star Showdown ($):

Hurst is the son of the former New England Patriots cornerback of the same name and you can tell he has athletic genes. He has a nice frame that can still add weight but what really stands out about him is his quickness off the ball and his light feet. Hurst beat most of his opponents with his first step and he was able to win the leverage game most of the time as well. At times he can be too upright and present too much of a target. His footwork is excellent and he has natural balance, and he is very good at responding quickly to the initial punch of offensive linemen. He also showed a good motor.

Impressive athleticism is a common thread throughout Hurst's evaluations—as you'll see in his highlights, he's nimble enough to line up at running back in high school. ESPN's evaluation highlights his explosiveness while pointing out a few areas for improvement mostly pertaining to his technique ($):

You would like to see more consistency but displays a good first-step that can allow him to quickly get penetration. He is at his best when he can fire out and primarily be a penetrator that disrupts schemes. Flashes the ability to be tough when taking on blockers as he can quickly fire out low and gain leverage and with solid strength hold his ground. While he does possess a quick first-step he can at times almost as quickly pop up and play tall and needs to work to consistently keep his pads down. He does display some rigidness and while he can get penetration he displays adequate ability to quickly change direction. He gives good effort and stays after the play showing the ability to take proper angles in pursuit. Displays solid long speed. He will try and wrap-up as a tackler and displays strong hands for drag down types. As a pass rusher he is capable of getting a quick hard charge up-field to get pressure. Will flash the ability to try and work some moves to help work past, but needs to continue to develop in this area to help when he can't just quickly blow past blockers.

As is evident on his tape, Hurst is a very disruptive presence on the interior of the line, a guy who uses his leverage and quickness—a la Mike Martin—to work his way into the backfield with regularity. In November of last year, Scout's Bob Lichtenfels tabbed Hurst as the top prospect in the East region who hadn't yet earned recognition as a top 100 player, comparing him to another collegiate standout ($):

Westwood (Mass.) Xaverian defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr., I hate comparing players to kids we've seen in the past, but watching Hurst reminds me of watching Marvin Austin. Kids who are 6-2/275 are not supposed to be able to move the way he does. Not too mention when he isn't wreaking havoc in the other teams backfield he is playing in his own backfield. Not many kids that size can pull that off.

Hurst has an invite to the Army All-American Game, a potential sign that his rankings will be on the rise in the future. His combination of size and athleticism is sure to turn some heads.

OFFERS

Hurst chose Michigan over fellow finalist Virginia, and he also held offers from Michigan State (where he visited yesterday), Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Boston College, UConn, Duke, Maryland, Mizzou, N.C. State, Purdue, Rutgers, Temple, Vanderbilt, and others.

STATS

Hurst tallied 61 tackles, 13.5 TFL, nine sacks, and four forced fumbles as a junior en route to being named first-team all-state.

FAKE 40 TIME

247 lists Hurst with a 4.88, while his highlight tape credits him with a 4.92. Both seem pretty reasonable for a tackle noted for his athleticism; I'll give those a two FAKEs out of five.

VIDEO

Junior highlights:

Pretty epic fat guy touchdown at the :25 mark.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Hurst is reportedly being recruited as a three-tech DT, though he has the size to potentially play the nose down the road if needed—that may depend on who else Michigan adds to the class. If he ends up at three-tech, Hurst should get a redshirt year since Michigan brought in Willie Henry, Matt Godin, and potentially Chris Wormley at the position in the 2012 class. After that redshirt year, he'll be in position for fight for time against those three and a senior Kenny Wilkins; given that he's got a higher recruiting profile than all the '12 recruits save Wormley, he's got a good shot at contributing as a redshirt freshman.

If, say, Michigan brings in MD DT Henry Poggi as a three-tech and slides Hurst over to the nose, he'd be right in the mix to back up Ondre Pipkins from the moment he arrives on campus.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Hurst fills a huge need along the defensive line, but the coaches will likely bring in another defensive tackle, with the top target being Poggi. TX DT Hardreck Walker, who just got bumped up to four stars on Rivals, is another possibility.

The remaining needs are another wide receiver—that spot is currently being held for IL WR Laquon Treadwell—as well as potential depth at strongside DE and in the defensive backfield. For the most part, Michigan can continue to target the best players available. The pace of recruiting should slow considerably with the Wolverines already having filled 19 spots in what should be a 23-24 player class.

Comments

clarklakeblue

June 2nd, 2012 at 6:22 PM ^

Welcome Maurice Hurst Jr.As a junior he has great size.I have to believe he is going to get bigger and better ranking are to follow.  Note to groucho mark better get a slow drip of exlax.LOL.

        

sundaybluedysunday

June 2nd, 2012 at 6:48 PM ^

So Sam Webb is reporting that he's going to be playing the 2-Tech as opposed to the 3-Tech. Can anyone with more football knowledge than myself explain what that is and if it still applies to the 4-3 Under and such?

Magnus

June 3rd, 2012 at 7:20 AM ^

There aren't really any common base defenses where you might find a 2-tech DT.  It's more of an adjustment.  A team that is struggling with runs to the A-gap might move a 3-tech down to a 2, or on a play in which you're pinching a DT from the B-gap down to the A-gap.  But most defenses align the D-linemen on the outside or inside shoulders of the offensive linemen, unless they're 2-gapping.

WolverineLake

June 2nd, 2012 at 7:26 PM ^

  Big fan of picking up the sons and cousins of NFLers.  The kid looks pretty good.  

  He ole'd a couple of guys on the OL.  I'd love to see some of that on Saturdays.

CoachBP623

June 3rd, 2012 at 12:37 AM ^

Is a for sure three tech DT. In his highlights he reminds me of Nick Fairley a bit. A versatile 3 tech with speed, quickness and good feet are especially hard to come by. He obviously knows the game well having grown up with an nfl dad. His abilities on the offensive side off the ball shows how complete of a player we are getting. I for one am very happy as the trenches is where the game is won. Welcome aboard young man. Those who stay will be champions.

UofM626

June 3rd, 2012 at 1:32 AM ^

To the family Hurst!!!! This class is turning out to be very special. Now let's finish w the following

Poggi

Green

Treadwell

Fuller

Make my day boys!!