Ann Arbor — Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary has been spreading the word about Michael Dwumfour since last season, and he hasn’t stopped.

With the departure of All-America defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, Dwumfour appears to be the heir apparent.

“We got this guy, Jersey kid, Michael Dwumfour, fast off the ball, get off just like Mo,” Gary said while smiling after a recent spring practice. “It’s ridiculous. You’re going to see it when time comes.”

Defensive-line coach Greg Mattison has seen plenty this spring that impresses him.

“Michael Dwumfour is having one of the best springs I can remember,” Mattison said Tuesday after practice. “He is really playing hard.”

Michigan is in the midst of spring practice that culminates with the spring game on April 14 at Michigan Stadium, and coaches use this time to begin making strong determinations about players and potential starters.

Dwumfour has distinguished himself this spring, as have Lawrence Marshall, Aubrey Solomon and Donovan Jeter, Mattison said.

The comparisons to Hurst began last season, stemming from an interview with Gary who highlighted how similar the two are in terms of quickness off the ball. Mattison sees that, too.

“He has a lot of Mo Hurst in him,” Mattison said. “There’s times where you see him come off the ball and you just go, ‘Whoa, that’s really good.’ And he’s a little bit thicker and a little bit bigger. It’s probably Rashan and Chase (Winovich) and Bryan Mone’s leadership that have really got him to step up. He’s always shown flashes but now all of a sudden, he’s getting more mature.

“(There were) times when he’d play really good, really good, really good and then all of a sudden try to take a play off where he wasn’t ready to take that next play, he’s not doing that now. He’s pushing himself way past where he usually would. That’s a real good sign for us.”

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Defensive lineman Kwity Paye, who will be a sophomore in the fall, is close to 250 pounds now, up about 20 pounds, Mattison said, since his arrival at Michigan. He was listed at 241 on last year’s roster.

The added weight and strength are obvious as he practices this spring at both positions.

“Kwity’s so much stronger than he was a year ago,” Mattison said. “He’s a lot stronger and he hasn’t lost any quickness at all. He’s playing like a guy that’s been here before, not like a freshman. I’m really looking for good things from him. He has a summer in that weight room with these guys, watch out. You’re going to find somebody you’re really excited about.”