LIVONIA, Mich. — Maurice Hurst joins a distinguished line of Michigan honorees.
Hurst was announced as Michigan’s most valuable player for the 2017 season on Tuesday at Michigan’s annual awards banquet. Previous Michigan MVPs include linebacker Jabrill Peppers (2016), quarterback Denard Robinson (2010-11), quarterback Jim Harbaugh (1986) and quarterback Rick Leach (1978).
Hurst was also named Michigan’s defensive player of the year.
“There have been so many great players at Michigan, and I’m just happy I can be considered one of them,” Hurst said of the awards.
Hurst, a fifth-year senior, is a 6-foot-2 282-pound defensive tackle from Westwood, Mass. He is projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick in April. Hurst had 59 total tackles, 13 1/2 tackles for loss and 5 sacks in 12 games this season.
“Five years goes by really fast,” Hurst told the audience. “This has been such a great experience for me, getting to come to the University of Michigan. It’s everything I dreamed of, and more.
“I had a great five years, and I went through a lot of adversity. The one thing I was taught was try to work through those things. That has a lot to do with my mom, how she raised me and what we had to go through.”
Hurst was an Associated Press first-team All-America selection at defensive tackle and a second-team selection on the Football Writers Association of America’s All-America team. He was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection.
Hurst’s mother, Nicole Page, reminded the audience of a startling statistic.
“Only one percent of Division I football players get a scholarship from Massachusetts,” Page said.
“To start and to be an All American? That is an amazing accomplishment, and I am so proud of him.”
Being a potential first-round draft pick, however, has Hurst weighing his immediate future at Michigan. He told reporters last week he is weighing whether or not he will play in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.
Hurst will also play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 27 in Mobile, Ala., prior to the NFL Scouting Combine.
“I’m just really thankful for all the memories I’ve been able to create here, and I’m getting really excited for the future, and seeing what these guys can do,” Hurst said.
Michigan (8-4) faces South Carolina (8-4) in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla.
Michigan football 2017 team awards
MVP: Maurice Hurst
Dr. Arthur D. Robinson Scholarship Award: Mike Wroblewski
Top GPA: Stephen Spanellis
Robert P. Ufer Bequest (spirit award): Mike McCray, Henry Poggi
Roger Zatkoff Award (linebacker): Devin Bush Jr.
Richard Katcher Award (defensive lineman/outside linebacker): Rashan Gary
Hugh H. Rader Memorial Award (offensive lineman): Mason Cole
Offensive player of the year: Karan Higdon
Defensive player of the year: Hurst
Special teams player of the year: Jordan Glasgow
Toughest player award: Ben Mason
Blue Collar Award: Chase Winovich
Rookie of the year: Donovan Peoples-Jones
Most improved player, offense: Zach Gentry
Most improved player, defense: Tyree Kinnel
Most improved player, special teams: James Foug
Scout team player of the year, offense: Dylan McCaffrey
Scout team player of the year, defense: Jameson Offerdahl
Scout team player of the year, special teams: Jake McCurry