Har­baugh will talk to Hurst about op­tions

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY AN­GELIQUE S. CHENGELIS The Detroit News achen­ge­lis@de­troit­news.com twit­ter.com/chengelis

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.”

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