Michigan Wolverines defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, a projected first-round pick and first-team All-Big Ten selection, is contemplating skipping the Outback Bowl against South Carolina in order to avoid injury and prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.
“Not really sure right now,” Hurst said Thursday. “It’s just business as usual, just practicing and all that type of stuff. Just trying to use all my resources to make sure I make the best decisions for myself and my family.”
In recent years, several top NFL Draft prospects have skipped their bowl games. Last year, LSU's Leonard Fournette and Stanford's Christian McCaffrey both skipped their bowl games and ended up being top eight picks. This year, a number of players are following suit, headlined by Florida State defensive back Derwin James.
Former Michigan tight end Jake Butt decided to play in the Orange Bowl last year against the Seminoles but suffered a torn ACL that dropped him from a potential first- or second-round pick to a fifth-round pick by the Denver Broncos. He also won't play at all this season because of the injury.
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Over the weekend, head coach Jim Harbaugh said he would have "open conversations" with players who are thinking about skipping the Outback Bowl.
“Haven’t had those conversations yet,” Harbaugh said. “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. None of those have taken place though yet.”
Hurst racked up 59 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and five sacks this season.Back to the Michigan Wolverines Newsfeed