Is Michigan’s Mo Hurst the best defensive player in college football?


He won’t win the Heisman Trophy, but Michigan’s fifth-year senior defensive tackle Mo Hurst might be the best college football player in the country.

After getting a near-perfect 98 (out of 100) score from Pro Football Focus for his performance against Michigan State?(Khaleke Hudson is the only Wolverine with a better score this year), Hurst vaulted up draft boards, with some thinking he could be the draft’s top prospect.

This video shows every snap from Hurst’s monstrous game against the Spartans, which included 8 tackles and 2 for loss:

Especially impressive are plays that start at :38, 2:38, 3:47, 5:01, 5:14, 5:28, 6:43 and 7:00.

The statistics from Saturday’s game weren’t available at the time of this post, but as of last Saturday’s matchup against Minnesota, Hurst had already racked up the perfect accomplishment for his position.

That’s according to Pro Football Focus and that’s frightening. His 41 tackles,11 (!!) tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and 1 fumble – led him to this crazy feat.

So — how does he do it?

His biggest asset is the speed and power with which he gets off the line.

On almost every play, he’s in the opposing team’s backfield before the hand-off, sometimes avoiding a block, but if not, driving his man back. It’s earned him the nickname “Quick Burst Mo Hurst” from the coaches.

A great d-tackle occupies the blocker so the linebackers have a clean path to the ball-carrier, and Hurst does just that. Those insane numbers Devin Bush and Khaleke Hudson have been putting up? They wouldn’t be as insane without Hurst.

In the play above, Hurst basically takes out the entire o-line. He won’t register a statistic for that play, but he made it happen.

Hurst isn’t just an offensive lineman occupying run-stuffer, though. He uses his burst to get to the quarterback. He had 1.5 sacks on Saturday against a Minnesota line that was only averaging one sack allowed per game, giving him four-straight games with at least half a sack.

Hurst’s talents didn’t just come along this season. His consistency has been on display since early 2016 with highlights like this one from a game against Colorado last year:

If Hurst is drafted in the top 10, he’ll be the first Michigan player to do that since offensive tackle Jake Long went number one overall in 2008.

Regardless of if he’s taken No. 1, he’s already got the best sack celebration in football:

Hurst is the highest-graded player in the country by PFF. The No. 1 graded interior run stuffer & pass rusher. He ranks inside the top 10 nationally for tackles for loss among defensive linemen, he ranks top in the conference in the same category.

He just might be the best college football player in the country.

And if you’re ever in Ann Arbor, he might just be your Uber driver.

(with a 4.9 rating)



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