Hurst will be counted on to lead a Wolverines defense that lost a ton of talent to the NFL, and is off to a terrific start in what’s shaping up to be an impressive senior season.
The space-eating defensive tackle made his presence felt in Michigan’s 36-14 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday with three solo tackles. That followed a much more noteworthy performance in a dominant outing against Florida to open the season, when Hurst racked up five tackles, including one stop behind the line of scrimmage.
Hurst emerged as a reliable rotation player for the Wolverines as a sophomore in 2015 and continued to be an defender on a stacked Michigan defense last year. With 11 tackles for loss, five sacks, a pass breakup and a forced fumble on his 2016 resume, Hurst likely could have jumped to the NFL, but chose to return to Ann Arbor for his senior year.
At 6-foot-2 and 280 pounds, Hurst has the ability to occupy blockers as an effective run defender. What separates Hurst as a potential top-20 pick is his quick first step that allows him to get to the quarterback in pass rush, making him one of the more productive all-around defenders in college football.
Hurst will hope to continue his promising senior campaign when Michigan hosts Air Force on Saturday afternoon.