Michigan Wolverines: Maurice Hurst Jr.

State of the Rivalry: Defensive line 

February, 26, 2013
2/26/13
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The writers at WolverineNation and BuckeyeNation put their heads together to break down the rivals' 2013 recruiting classes. They'll give readers a position-by-position look at who coaches Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer signed and, ultimately, which class edged out the other. It's too early to say what will happen through the next few seasons, and we won't make any promises except that Hoke and Meyer are going to put talent on the field.

Over the next few weeks, WolverineNation will look at every position on the Michigan roster and give a depth chart analysis of each position on the roster heading into the offseason.

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and his defensive coordinator, Greg Mattison, both have backgrounds as defensive line coaches and perhaps more than any other position on the roster, have high expectations for their defensive linemen. Hoke believes a lot of a team’s success starts there.

Both also preach the importance of technique perfection -- and have for years. It is what makes this year’s defensive tackles group an interesting one for the Wolverines.

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The Wolverines continued their hot streak on the recruiting trail by landing four-star defensive tackle Henry Poggi (Baltimore/Gilman) on Monday. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound lineman is commitment No. 20 for Michigan and the 16th commitment ranked as a four-star.

"I am grateful to say that I am choosing Michigan. I feel comfortable there and I hope I will fit in," Poggi said. "I know that they have great players at my position on their roster and in the incoming recruiting classes. I will do my best to compete and hopefully I will make the team and be additive in helping the team reach their goals. I know that I start at the bottom of the depth chart."

Henry Poggi
Courtesy of Maggie ThomasHenry Poggi could play inside or outside on the defensive line.
This is another big win for Michigan as Poggi chose the Wolverines over Alabama, Ohio State, Auburn, Florida and Stanford, among others. He's ranked as the No. 23 defensive tackle in the country, but he could be used in various ways.

Poggi's versatility along the line will give the Michigan coaching staff plenty of options as he could line up at the three-technique defensive tackle spot or move outside to the five-technique defensive end position.

Michigan seemed to move into the driver's seat after Poggi and his parents took a visit to Ann Arbor in March. After that trip, his father said that the visit was over the top and showed Henry that he fit in socially with the rest of the team. What might have been more important on that trip, though, was that Poggi's mom came away impressed and comfortable with what Michigan would offer her son.

"(Henry's mother) sat with Brady [Hoke], she spent about 40 minutes with him, and he explained to her why he coaches," said Biff Poggi, Henry's father. "He's passionate about impacting the lives of kids, and she believed him and felt like that was deep in his heart. The academic piece, she also thought in her mind is every bit as impressive and maybe more than Stanford."

This commitment now gives Michigan three very good prospects on the defensive line as Poggi joins defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. (Westwood, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) and defensive end Taco Charlton (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central).

Poggi is also the fifth commitment for Michigan along the defensive line ranked as a four-star between the 2012 and 2013 classes. Depth and competition are being built in the trenches, something Hoke said would be a priority going forward.
Michigan has added yet another member to its 2013 class as defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. (Westwood, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) has committed to the Wolverines. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive lineman chose Michigan over offers from Virginia, Ohio State, Michigan State and Nebraska, among others.

He made his decision after visiting Ann Arbor and felt that he had seen enough to end his recruitment.

Hurst gives Michigan a boost at the three-technique defensive tackle spot as he brings a lot of athleticism for a prospect his size. He's versatile enough that his high school team even uses him as a running back, a role he won't be continuing at Michigan.

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