Maurice Hurst undecided on playing in Outback Bowl for Michigan

Michigan may have not had quite the 2017 season they were hoping for, finishing 8-4 overall and on their way to the Outback Bowl against South Carolina. But Wolverines defensive lineman Maurice Hurst came to play this season, to say the least.

Hurst finished this season with career-high marks, both single-game and for an entire 12-game slate, compared to his previous two years in Ann Arbor. He's turned himself from a sparingly used backup into a serious NFL-caliber player and is probably one of if not the best defensive lineman prospect heading into the 2018 NFL Draft.

The fifth-year senior, however, has reportedly not decided on whether or not to play in Michigan's bowl game on January 1.

Hurst finished the regular season with 59 total tackles, good for seventh on the team. He was also one of six Wolverines to record at least five sacks and one of five to notch double-digits in tackles for loss.

Checking in at 6-foot-2 and roughly 280 pounds, Hurst has been (and is going to continue be) considered as a bit undersized for the stereotypical defensive lineman in the NFL. But with the college ranks spitting out more athletic and versatile players in recent years, that only improves the stock for a guy like Hurst.

The Westwood, Massachusetts product earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from conference coaches and media members as well as, more recently, from The Associated Press. With the potential of being a first-round selection, Hurst may lean towards skipping the bowl game in an effort to preserve his health and safety and focus on preparing for the Combine in late winter.

Hurst was also asked recently about all the rumors and reports swirling around surrounding the several Ole Miss players interested in transferring to Michigan. He talked about the trickle-down effect of bringing in once-touted recruits like that to a program and what it could me to incumbent players for the Wolverines.

The news this week from this ongoing saga is that there may be upwards of seven players interested in heading north to play for Michigan as early as next season. Quarterback Shea Patterson is the focal point of this crop of Rebels, and rumors are that it is a “done deal” for his transfer to U-M.

The news has really dominated college football since season's end and been met with criticism from some, namely Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork, who perhaps indirectly accused Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh of tampering with the Ole Miss players.