Saturday, June 2, 2012

Commit #19: Maurice Hurst, Jr.

Photo Credit: 247Sports
After waiting a few weeks after the commitment of wide receiver Csont'e York, Michigan fans finally get to celebrate another recruit joining the maize and blue.  Hurst is a defensive tackle hailing from Westwood, Massachusetts and brings a lot of talent to the Wolverine defense.  He is 6'2" and weighs 275-290 lbs, depending on your recruiting site of choice.  He is ranked by Rivals as just a 3* recruit, but both Scout and 247Sports have him ranked as a 4* recruit.

He's a classic 3*/4* recruit.  Probably too good to be grouped with the majority of 3* players, but not quite good enough to be grouped with the majority of 4* recruits.  Regardless, this is a very solid ranking, especially for a player that will likely develop in his role with the team.  It's rare that an offensive or defensive line recruit will get significant playing time when they arrive on campus and I anticipate much the same for Hurst.  He's already pretty big and probably will be a bit bigger when he arrives on campus, but with some of Michigan's 2012 commits such as Ondre Pipkins and Willie Henry, his early chances will certainly be limited.

Despite this, Hurst brings a lot to the table for Michigan and will very likely make a big impact for the team in the future.  Whether he's going to play nose tackle or 3 tech for Michigan is still up in the air, but I think he'll take the 3 tech spot primarily because of Pipkins.  Pipkins will probably be the backup nose tackle in 2012 and after Will Campbell graduates, he will probably move in as the unquestioned starter.  Obviously, there are a lot of question marks surrounding what Pipkins will do next season, but Pipkins taking that role is probably the most likely situation given depth, experience, and size factors.

With Pipkins at nose tackle, Hurst will likely take the 3 tech role.  Now, one thing I'm sure most fans noticed is that Greg Mattison and Brady Hoke tend to rotate the defensive line pretty frequently.  As of now, when Hurst arrives on campus, the interior defensive line will largely consist of recruits and untested players, although some of the players such as Quinton Washington, Richard Ash, and Kenny Wilkins could make some noise next season, if they get some solid playing time.  Odds are however, there will be an opening for some of the younger players from the 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes to make some noise.

Do I think Hurst will make a big impact early?  Probably not, but there certainly is an opportunity and if not, he should have plenty of time to develop and make an impact later on in his career.  The important thing is that Michigan is filling a position of need with Hurst.  So far, since national signing day for the 2010 class, Michigan has only received commitments from four defensive tackles (including Hurst).  Considering the need for growth and potential for injuries, that's pretty significant. 

Now, Michigan still has a chance at securing commitments from some other defensive linemen for this class to accompany Hurst and defensive end Taco Charlton, but this is a big step in the right direction.  The 2013 class is already ranked #1 and Hurst's commitment has done nothing but help that standing.  Michigan's 2013 recruiting is slowly nearing an end, but there's no doubt this is an exciting pickup for Wolverine fans.

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