Harbaugh will talk to Hurst about options
Ann Arbor — Michigan fifthyear senior defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is mulling whether he will play in the Outback Bowl.
Hurst hopes to decide in the next week whether he will play or sit out like several big-name players did last year in advance of their professional football careers. Hurst is a projected firstround pick.
“Not really sure right now,” Hurst said Thursday. “It’s just business as usual, just practicing and all that type of stuff.”
Last bowl season there were players heading off to pro careers who decided not to participate in their team’s bowl game. Among the big-name players, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and LSU’s Leonard Fournette skipped bowl games.
Former Michigan tight end Jake Butt played in the bowl last year and suffered his second ACL injury which greatly affected his draft stock.
Hurst said he will discuss his decision with his family and also Butt and former UM defensive lineman Chris Wormley.
“Just trying to use all my resources to make sure I make the best decisions for myself and my family,” Hurst said.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Sunday he will have open conversations with players who are considering not playing in the bowl.
“Haven’t had those conversations yet,” Harbaugh said Sunday night “We will, I’m sure. Again, I’ll ask if there’s a player on that team has that perspective, it doesn’t have to be secretive, doesn’t have to come from the dark shadows. We’ll talk about it, we’ll be able to figure it out. I’ll be supportive in the conversation and the discussions about it.”
Hurst finished the season with 59 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. On Wednesday, he was named first-team AllBig Ten by the Associated Press, and was named All-America by Pro Football Focus.
Hurst: Transfers a plus
With three potential Ole Miss football transfers reportedly visiting Michigan this weekend, Hurst said the Wolverines should embrace the competition.
Shea Patterson, the No. 1 quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class, will be visiting Michigan, along with Ole Miss teammates Deontay Anderson, a safety, and receiver Van Jefferson.
Harbaugh was in Oxford, Miss., earlier in the week and reportedly met with the players who are exploring transfer options in light of Ole Miss’ latest NCAA sanctions that include missing another bowl next season.
Hurst said Thursday he has no issues adding transfers. “I’ve always been one to believe that competition brings out the best in everyone,” Hurst said.
“They’ll be a great addition to the team. It’s just adding another great dimension to a team that’s already pretty good.”
While the transfers don’t affect Hurst, he was asked what it would mean for, say, the quarterbacks with Patterson potentially joining the team.
Redshirt freshman Brandon Peters, the No. 1 quarterback in bowl preparations, made three starts late in the season but suffered a concussion in the Wisconsin game and missed the Ohio State game.
Freshman Dylan McCaffrey is redshirting this year. Wilton Speight, who won the starting job the last two seasons, has decided transfer, as has backup quarterback Alex Malzone.
“I feel like for football, you shouldn’t let your feelings get hurt,” Hurst said. “If you have someone coming in and they’re better than you and they play over you, then they’re better than you.”