Michigan fifth-year senior defensive tackle Maurice “Mo” Hurst said Thursday that he has not determined whether or not he will play in the team’s bowl game on Jan. 1.
Hurst is a projected first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and was graded the best player in the country on either side of the ball by Pro Football Focus.
He is currently practicing with the team like usual, but hopes to make a decision in the next week or two.
“Speaking with my family, talking with Jake [Butt], talking to Chris [Wormley], some of the other guys that may have had similar decisions to make. I’ll talk to Coach Harbaugh,” Hurst said. “Just trying to use all my resources to make sure I make the best decision for myself and my family.”
It won’t be an easy decision either way he said. He saw first-hand what happened to Butt, who was injured during the team’s bowl game last season, fell to the fifth-round in the draft and missed his entire first NFL season.
“It’s extremely tough, just being there and seeing him go down,” Hurst said. “It was heart-wrenching to see the emotion on his face, his family’s face. It was really hard for me to watch last year.”
Dropping out of the first round is a significant fall in terms of both money and contract years.
According to Business Insider, only players drafted in the first round receive contracts that are at least 70 percent guaranteed. The top six picks last year earned contracts worth more than $22 million each, while all first-round picks signed contracts worth at least $8.8 million.
“Things really drop in the second round, where the average contract was worth about $5.1 million over four years ($1.3 million per year), according to Spotrac.com, but with only half of that guaranteed. The value of third-round contracts drops to $3.3 million, but takes an even bigger hit in guaranteed value, with the average contract worth just $756,000 in guaranteed money.
“Once a player falls past the third round, most draft picks will sign a 4-year deal in the $2.4-2.9 million range. The only major difference late in the draft is the signing bonus, ranging from $400,000-600,000 in the fourth round to slightly more than $60,000 in the seventh round.”
Hurst has an insurance policy, but said he ‘knows nothing about insurance” and isn’t quite sure exactly what is covered. He got the insurance at the beginning of the season.
“Honestly, I have no idea what I signed,” Hurst said. “So, I’m not really sure.”
He said that he wasn’t able to afford hiring a lawyer to read over what he was signing. He added that Butt was able to have help from his father, who knew a decent amount about insurance, but that he did not have the same advantage.
He will meet next week with coach Jim Harbaugh to seek advice and talk about what he will do. He wants to know what Harbaugh would tell him to do if he were his own son.
After the bowl game, Hurst said he thinks he will train in California.
Hurst On Ole Miss Transfers
With the possible additions of several players from Ole Miss, Hurst said he thinks it’s good for the team.
“It’s always a good thing to have competition,” Hurst said. “I’ve always been one that believes competition brings out the best in people. I think that’s probably where Coach Harbaugh is going with it, he can bring in some great players from Ole Miss, guys that have already kind of proven themselves and they’ll be great additions to the team.
“I feel like for football, you shouldn’t let your feelings get hurt. If you have someone coming in and they’re better than you, and they play over you, they’re just better than you. It is what it is. It’s always competition.”