Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst spoke to reporters Friday, following his Pro Day workout. He recently was cleared for activity, after being held out of the NFL Combine with a heart condition. Angelique S. Chengelis, Detroit News
Ann Arbor – Michigan All-American defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, cleared medically to continue playing football after an irregular EKG held him out of the NFL combine last month, went through pro day drills at Michigan on Friday and gave himself high marks.
Hurst, a projected first-round NFL Draft selection, said he can’t speak publicly about his diagnosis, but he did undergo testing at Michigan and Harvard in the two weeks following the combine. He said he was cleared a “couple weeks ago.”
“I knew everything was going to be fine,” Hurst said Friday at Schembechler Hall after pro day. “I think (teams will) view me exactly the same as before. If you’re cleared, you’re cleared. It’s not really anything to look back on.”
The EKG irregularity was discovered during a routine medical exam while in Indianapolis for the combine. He went through a similar issue at Michigan during his freshman year. A week later, he said, he was cleared.
Hurst said he had not had any recent heart tests before the combine.
“A lot of times the combine will play it safe,” he said. “It was fine.”
Initially, Hurst said he was upset he had to miss out on the combine testing, although he did spend time talking to teams and coaches.
“And (got) to talk ball, which is why I was there,” he said. “I knew about (the heart test) here, so I was a little surprised they held me out, but I was excited I was able to do everything at pro day.”
Former Michigan fullback Henry Poggi said because there were only two defensive linemen going through drills at pro day, Hurst was worked hard during the event.
“I think they tried to get him pretty tired, too, put the heart to the test,” Poggi said, laughing. “It looked like it passed with flying colors. He did well out there. It was good. Mo’s a special athlete. Whatever team gets him is going to be a really lucky one.
“It just stunk for him because he would have gone to the combine and done really well and the media would have blown it up. Pro day’s not as big of a stage as a combine. Hopefully he’ll still get his national recognition because he did a great job today.”
Hurst was the highest-graded player in the FBS last season by Pro Football Focus. He was voted the Wolverines’ MVP and was the top defensive lineman. Obviously, he has an impressive resume.
“I think film speaks for itself and stats and numbers,” Hurst said. “Just getting to talk ball (with teams). I mean, that’s most important, not how fast I run and jump.”
Teams want to know from the players what they think they can do at the next level. Hurst was very clear with them.
“I always answer, a playmaker, someone who’s going to be disruptive and someone who is going to be productive, and I really try to impact the game. I think that’s something that’s going to translate well to the next level.”
Hurst has met with all the NFL teams but doesn’t have any team visits set up yet. He figures he’ll get an invitation to attend the NFL Draft in April but may go home to Massachusetts and watch with his family.
Regardless, he’s just happy his football life has resumed.
“I knew everything was going to be fine,” he said.
Fullback Khalid Hill, who also participated in pro day, said Hurst handled everything since the combine with grace and he approached the audition on Friday with determination.
“Mo just took it as any other day,” Hill said. “He was upset he had a little situation going on, but he didn’t let that affect him. He came in and put the work in every day, and he showed it on the field.
“That’s a first-round guy right there.”