Happy Tuesday, folks, and welcome to Morning Brews. Preseason awards watch list season has begun and the Wolverines are represented on two lists so far. Senior QB Wilton Speight received the nod for the Maxwell Award, and Maurice Hurst and Rashan Gary have received nods for the Bednarik Award; the former going to the best all-around player in college football and the latter going to the best defensive player. Also in this morning’s Brews we have a couple recruiting tidbits, so let’s get right to it.
Yesterday afternoon the Maxwell Football Club announced its pre-season watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually to the season’s top defensive player since the award was instituted in 1995. Finding themselves on the watch list were Senior Mo Hurst and Sophomore Rashan Gary. Also representing the B1G on the list were thirteen other players: four from Ohio State (Baker, Bosa, Lewis, and Ward), two from Penn State (Allen and Cabinda), two from Wisconsin (Cichy and Sheehy), and then one each from Maryland (Carter), Northwestern (Igwebuike), Iowa (Jewell), Indiana (Scales), and Minnesota (Richardson).
Both Gary and Hurst had solid seasons last year that justify their inclusion on this list. Hurst tallied 34 tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss - plus 4.5 sacks. Gary recorded 27 tackles, including 5 tackles for loss - plus one sack. Those numbers are good enough for fifth and sixth on last year’s DLine tackle list, behind Charlton (43), Glasgow (42), Wormley (40), and Winovich (35). Now that both will be at the front of the starting rotation, they look to increase their stat tallies accordingly.
If I had to pick who would have the better 2017-18 season between the two, I’d say that I expect Gary to get the better of Mo Hurst. I see Gary more in the mold of Taco Charlton and Hurst as more like Chris Wormley. Gary is a freakish athlete, and he has explosiveness for days. That’s going to translate into slipped blocks, tackles for loss, and sacks. Hurst is more of a constant presence up front, in a good way. He has staying power to engage and defeat blockers, the experience to read defenses and improvise, and then the presence and athleticism to make tackles outside of his area. He’s not as explosive as Gary, but he’s an all-around great player and a key component of the DLine.
Who do you think will have the better season? Weigh in below and in the comments.
Who will have the better season?
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According to Josh Newkirk at Scout, Michigan commit Christian Turner has been recruiting for the Wolverines. Turner told Scout, “I’ve been giving Isaac Taylor-Stuart a hard time, I’ve been talking to Jeremy Ruckert, so a couple of the players. Really, we are just out here having fun mostly, not really paying attention to the recruiting thing. But at the end of the day, yeah, we would love to have them on the team.” Isaac Taylor-Stuart is a four star CB recruit and the #32 prospect, according to the 247 Composite. Jeremy Ruckert is a four star TE recruit and the #67 prospect, according to the 247 Composite.
Also from Josh Newkirk at Scout, a WR in the mold of Donovan Peoples-Jones says Michigan will get a serious look as his recruiting journey continues. Jalen Hall, a five star recruit and the #14 prospect according to the 247 Composite, has already visited Michigan twice unofficially and he says Michigan is on his list. Hall told Scout, “I’m big with Jordan (brand) . . . you know what I am saying. So that’s a big thing . . . . I like their coaches down there and I like a lot of what they do with their receivers, they like those big receivers out there.” Hall expects to release a Top-10 list during his senior season, so it appears he’s likely to be a late-cycle commitment wherever he ends up going.