Scout's Take: UM commit Maurice Hurst Jr.

Maurice Hurst Jr.

Michigan landed a big commitment in four-star defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. of Xaverian Brothers High (Westwood, Mass.) over the weekend. So, what are the Wolverines getting? Scout.om provides an in-depth look at what the Wolverines are getting in Hurst.

The moment Maurice Hurst Jr. received his offer from Michigan, it seemed like the four-star defensive tackle from Xaverian Brothers High (Westwood, Mass.) would wind up at the school.

That finally took place Saturday, when Hurst made the call during an unofficial visit to campus on the back end of a trip to Michigan State.

Hurst's coach, Charlie Stevenson, told Scout.com that Hurst was recruited to play the 2-technique, which means Hurst will line up over a guard on the defensive line.

However, defenses are ever-evolving and players don't take the same position every play. What is known is the 6-foot-2, 275-pound Hurst will play on the interior of Michigan's defensive line, and he could wreak havoc.

H also has good bloodlines as his father, Maurice Hurst, played for the New England Patriots. Scout.com took a look at Hurst's junior highlights and also used a combine outing to put together a scouting report on the Wolverine commit.

What to like
Hurst is athletic, explosive, moves his feet well, has a few nice techniques he uses to get into the backfield and runs well for a defensive lineman. He also plays in different schemes, with Xaverian using a 4-3 as its base but also switching to a 3-4 in certain instances.

Let's start out with how well Hurst moves in tight quarters. Stevenson uses him as a running back in certain situations, and not just as a short-yardage battering ram.

In breaking Hurst down, let's look at the first play of his junior tape. He uses a spin move to get into the backfield and pursue the ball carrier and cause a fumble. On the second play, his explosive and ability to use leverage allow him to push the offensive lineman deep into the backfield.

At the 35-second mark, Hurst shows his nimble feet by stepping over the offensive lineman. He has a slight angle to get to the running back before he can turn the corner, and Hurst gets there and brings him down.

Moving to the 55-second mark, Hurst shows it again, but in a different way. He goes left at the snap, but quickly gets to the right as the play moves away from him. His burst and speed then come into play as he chases down the quarterback, which is not easy for a player Hurst's size.

At the 1:22 mark, Hurst shows more technique. He gets in the backfield quickly, but notice how he does it …it was with a deft swim move. It won't be that easy in college, but he already has the muscle memory to perform it.

Finally, on the next play, take a look at Hurst's footwork again. At the snap of the ball he skips left to sidestep the interior offensive linemen and makes the quarterback throw quickly. Again, for a player of Hurst's size, moving that well laterally is not a simple task.

What needs work
Hurst's highlight tape is filled with plays of him going unblocked toward the ball carrier, but there is very little tape of him using power or getting off blocks.

Hurst needs to work on his hands, which will allow him to get off blocks. Even late in the tape, where Hurst bats a pass down, he is blocked and doesn't do a great job of getting the offensive lineman's hands off of him just after the snap.

Hurst will experience a huge jump in competition when he gets to Michigan. Yes, all kids experience a big bump in play when they move to college, but Hurst is coming from an area that doesn't produce a lot of high-level FBS players.

Also, Hurst is strong, but not strong enough to survive in the Big Ten yet. That takes time, and rare is it when an interior defensive lineman can step in and play immediately.

In summation
Hurst's greatest asset is athleticism. He plays fast, especially within the first few snaps of the ball, but he will have to show he can survive against the offensive linemen of the Big Ten. It will take him a year or two to get into the rotation at Michigan, but his athletic upside of the fact his father played in the NFL gives Hurst a tremendous starting base.

The message of caution is don't expect too much too soon from Hurst despite his ranking as a four-star. The big payoff should be on the back end.


Junior highlights

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