RECRUITING: Florida In Maurice Hurt's Top 5

When Coach Urban Meyer was at Utah, one of his starting guards was 6-4, 340, what Meyer called a "road grader." Maurice Hurt of Milledgeville (GA) Baldwin fits that mold perfectly which might explain why the Florida Gators are going hard after this 6-4, 344-pounder who is a member of the South Top 100.

Maurice Hurt profile

The big guy from Central Georgia has nine offers so far but there are five schools that have his attention and Florida is one of the five.

"I like the Gators," he said. "I like Coach (John) Hevesy and the other new coaches there. They really had it working at Utah so I think there is a lot better talent at Florida than Utah … better players. And they are getting more, so they will put their scheme in and do good in the SEC. I like to Coach Hevesy and talked to Coach Meyer a couple of times and he came to see me. I went to a spring practice down there. I went to a camp like a year ago."

He continues to find his mail box filled with recruiting letters and there are more offers in the works. Although he's concentrating on five schools right now, he saves all the mail from the many different schools that are showing him attention.

"I am still getting a lot of stuff in the mail," he said. "I save all that stuff so one day I can show all my kids. I have about 9-10 offers. They all came about the same time so I really didn't pay attention to what offer came when."

The five schools that have his attention are Florida, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, and Oklahoma. He says each school has its own strong points and he's taking a long, careful look to make sure he makes the right choice. Here are his comments about the four schools other than Florida that are on his list:

LSU: "I went to camp there and they are always contending for a national championship. The capital of Louisiana is in Baton Rouge. I talked to some of the coaches and got to work with the offensive line coach, he is a really good coach. I liked it out there."

AUBURN: "They went undefeated in the SEC last year. It is hard to do that, you can lose on any Saturday in the SEC. It's also not too far away from home."

ALABAMA: "They are off of their probation and now they are getting good players. I am pretty sure they are cleaning up the state of Alabama."

OKLAHOMA: "They are just Oklahoma. They always contend for a national championship. It's a long way from home but, they have Adrian Peterson, the best back in college football. I know they have a lot of tradition and good things and I want to take a look at them."

Then there is the home state team. Unlike most of the power teams in the south, the University of Georgia has not offered him a scholarship. He says it's their loss.

"They haven't offered me and I can't put any effort and time considering people that don't look at me," he said. "I am right here in Georgia and they aren't looking at me. As far as I'm concerned I'm not looking at them either."

When it comes to performance, Hurt is all about effort. He has confidence in his ability but he understands that so much of football is about desire and effort.

"I am aggressive," he said. "I make all the decisions at the line as far as offensive calls. As far as my will and effort that I put out on the field, that I can't be beat. I think that is what sticks out. There are a lot of guys that are stronger and faster and some bigger, but I think I beat all of them in effort."

He points to the final game of the 2004 season as an indicator of what he's all about on the football field.

"I think my best game in high school was my second game in the playoffs last year," he said. "We lost to a team that won the semifinals. We were down in that game a lot but I played offense and defense in that game. I was a dominating force, especially on the offensive line. But when it came down to the last game of the season everyone knew I gave it all I had. I had a lot of pancakes and good blocks in that game. That would probably be the game I am most proud of."

This big "road grader" is one recruit to keep an eye on. Maurice Hurt has the kind of size, ability and passion to play the game that has caught the attention of the Florida coaching staff. Because the Gators graduate five offensive linemen after the 2005 season, Hurt will definitely be in Florida's recruiting plans.

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