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Ann Arbor — As All-American defensive tackle Maurice Hurst continues preparing for the NFL Draft, it’s all about what’s next for Michigan’s defensive line.

Hurst was voted the team’s MVP and top defensive lineman last year and has moved on, so now defensive coordinator Don Brown will use spring practice, which began Friday, to sort through a number of candidates to fill Hurst’s vacancy.

As far as Hurst is concerned, there is no shortage of talented players competing to become a starter.

“I think we’re definitely going to have a lot of guys who play really well,” Hurst said Friday after his pro day workout. “I think Aubrey (Solomon) is going to be one of those guys. (Michael) Dwumfour and Lawrence (Marshall), (Bryan) Mone, I think there’s a lot of those guys who are really good players and just taking it to the next step and being full-time starters and getting more playing time.

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“Just being more consistent helps you in the long run, so they’re going to be competing all spring and fall camp for who’s going to be the starters, which brings out the best in everybody.”

Dwumfour impressed the coaches and his teammates last season. Defensive end Rashan Gary said last October that Dwumfour’s explosion off the line was almost on par with Hurst.

Hurst said Dwumfour has tremendous upside.

“There are a lot of rare times where you get a D-tackle that excels at pass rush and he’s one of those guys that really excels in the pass-rush game, which translates huge to the NFL,” Hurst said. “I think it’s something he can continue to hone in on and work on and be a very productive player for our team.

“He has all the tangibles and the quick twitch ability to move and bend you want from a defensive tackle.”

achengelis@detroitnews.com

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