Coach praises Hurst’s work on and off the field

Michigan picked up a commitment over the weekend from defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr., who selected the Wolverines over Virginia, Michigan State and others. Westwood (Mass.) Xaverian Brothers head football coach and athletic director Charles Stevenson has seen his share of talent through the years and noted that Hurst fits well among that elite group.

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"We’ve sent guys to various schools, such as Boston College, Syracuse, UConn, Duke, NC State and Stanford,” he noted. “We’ve had our share. We’ve had some guys go on to the NFL. We only have one in the NFL presently, Matt Hasselbeck, who was the quarterback at Tennessee and Seattle for a number of years. He’s the only one still in the NFL, but his brother Tim played in the NFL and Greg Comella played for the Giants in their Super Bowl. One of our running backs, Derrick Knight, is the all-time leading rusher in Boston College history. So we’ve had some good players and Mo certainly ranks right up there with the best of them.”

Stevenson went on to describe what sets Hurst apart as a football player.

“Certainly he’s big at 6-2, 290 pounds and for a big guy he’s very athletic,” said the head coach. “His first step is very quick and powerful. We here at Xaverian try to take advantage of his athleticism and not just use him on the defensive side of the ball. We’ve gotten to use him at running back in certain situations as well. He had a 75 yard touchdown once last year. But he’s a big guy who’s got good quickness for his size.”

Last season, Hurst carried the ball 27 times for 440 yards (16.3 yards per carry) and three touchdowns, adding 65 tackles and 11 sacks on the defensive side of the ball. With defense his planned focus at the collegiate level, Stevenson noted that the young tackle’s physical style of play set him apart from an early age.

“When he came in as a freshman, he certainly wasn’t 6-2, 290 pounds, but he was very aggressive and he was probably the best hitter we had in that group,” he stated. “We thought that he would have a chance to step right up and play for us as a sophomore because of his aggressive style of play, and he did. He got to play some as a sophomore, then really peaked last year as a junior. Thankfully, we have one more year of him here at Xaverian before he moves on to Michigan, so hopefully it’s going to culminate in a great senior season for him and us as well.”

While Hurst’s skills on the football field have helped him receive attention from around the nation, his coach feels that his work in the community helps demonstrate the young athlete’s value beyond just participation in sports.

“Mo’s a great kid,” said Stevenson . “He maximizes his abilities in the classroom and he also steps outside the box and contributes with some community service work. He’s been in some of our outreach programs. He’s spent time at homes for abused women. He spent some time going up to places where they feed the poor. He’s spent some time at a place where we go to provide company to the elderly. He’s a great kid who thinks outside of himself … His willingness to become part of those activities speaks volumes about him as a person.”

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