February 6, 2013
Hurst shows a burst at DT
Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison vowed on MGoBlue.com this morning that 6-2, 302-pound defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, Jr. will not be getting carrying the football over the next four years in Ann Arbor.
That doesn't mean he couldn't if he had to do so. The burly run-stopper out of Westwood, Mass., actually broke off a 75-yard touchdown run for Xaverian Brothers High School, among other eye-opening carries.
Hurst served primarily as a defender, but did get his chances to run with the football, according to Xaverian Brothers head coach Charlie Stevenson. That effort provided some highlight moments when college coaches were looking over his film.
"Everybody is recruiting him as a defensive lineman, and he had between 25 and 30 offers," Stevenson said. "He was definitely a national recruit. But the one thing they all came in and talked to me about was his highlight that he had included there on the offensive side of the ball, which was very ironic.
"Right in the middle of his highlight tape as a defensive lineman, with all his plays at the line of scrimmage - which they see all the time - he had a 75-yard touchdown run against one of our opponents. He's making cuts back, carrying people into the end zone. Everybody looks and goes, 'What the hell is that?'
"I'm like, 'Are you recruiting him as a running back?' They'd say, 'No, but we don't have any defensive tackles for us that can do that.' It was funny how it came up. He showed everybody his athleticism, and that's one of his big strengths."
Hurst certainly has the bloodlines to play big-time football. He's the son of former New England Patriot Maurice Hurst, and becomes the first player ever from his school to secure a scholarship at the University of Michigan.
The big tackle noted it didn't take long at all for Michigan head coach Brady Hoke to make him feel comfortable about leaving the east coast and heading to Ann Arbor.
"He has a lot of patience as a coach," Hurst said. "I got to see them practice, and I really like their practice style. They chase the ball down every single play. That's something they're trying to instill in their defense, and I really like that."
Chasing is something Hurst does well, Stevenson cautioned. He's been chased himself as a running back, and proved athletic enough to perform well when given that opportunity.
His tailback/fullback days officially ended with the end of his high school team's season, but Stevenson expects the sort of burst from Hurst that will separate him on the Michigan line.
"He's big, he's strong, he's physical, but people underestimate his athleticism," Stevenson said. "When we would play summer league football, which is just touch football here in Massachusetts, he didn't hesitate, if we were short a guy, to go out and play receiver, play in our secondary. He played quarterback for us in the summertime.
"He just loves football. He loves getting out on the field and having fun. That's the kind of kid he is."
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