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College Football Preview Time for Canton's Hurst

Xaverian High's Marcus Hurst Jr. was a standout defensive lineman for the East squad in Semper Fidelas All-American Bowl Friday.

He wasn't in Canton anymore.

And he wasn't at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood either.

Marcus Hurst Jr. wasn't even at the University of Michigan where he will be as a freshman this summer.

No, he was in Carson, Calf. last week, playing defensive tackle for the East squad in the second annual Semper Fidelas All-American Bowl, put on by the United States Marines.

Hurst was a standout during the week of practice and in the game where he helped the East squad to a 17-14 win over the West, making three tackles with a sack as he spent the night harassing the West quarterbacks.

Not bad for a guy who was on medication during the week after suffering with his tonsils.

With everything that was going on around the 6-2, 285-pounder, there was a pretty good preview of what is to come when he gets to Michigan as one of the Wolverines' top recruits.

First, there was the meeting of his future opponents with the friendly trash talking going back and forth during the week.

"There were a lot of Big Ten guys and the Notre Dame guys," said Hurst with a laugh. "There was a lot of hate."

Of course, Michigan and the Fighting Irish are legendary rivals.

"It's been a fun experience," said Hurst before playing in the game. While getting a taste of his future rivals, the Xaverian High player was able to get a preview of what the college game is going to be like."

It's the speed," he said of the difference. "The running backs are harder to tackle because of their speed. It makes it harder to tackle them for a loss."

At 285-pound, Hurst combines his size and strength with a healthy dose of speed. He's been clocked at 4.88 seconds for the 40 and ran for a 75-yard touchdown against St. John's of Shrewsbury as a running back.

When he arrives at Michigan, he wants to add weight, while keeping his speed to be able to standout on the defensive line.

"In college, I want to be 285 or 290," said Hurst. Hurst is the son of former New England Patriot defensive back Maurice Hurst, but according to an article in the Boston Globe, the father has had little contact with the son.

Maurice Hurst Jr. grew up playing football in Canton, but when he came to high school, he wanted to be in Westwood.

He watched the Hawks play and knew that's where he wanted to be in high school.

"It was a great experience," he said. "It's a really good program and the (head coach Charlie Stevenson) is phenomenal and the entire coaching staff is exceptional."

Hurst still has a few months left at Xaverian and then it will be off to Michigan for the summer for school and to get ready to play in the Big Ten.

His experience at Xaverian, both on the football field and in the classroom, has gotten him prepared for success on the next level.

And, after last week, he has a pretty good idea of what that's going to be like.

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