RECRUITING: The Big Hurt Set To Make Commitment

When "The Big Hurt" came to Gainesville this weekend for the Florida-Tennessee game, he was ready to be impressed by the huge crowd and the game day atmosphere at The Swamp. By the time he left Gainesville he had seen and heard enough that he moved up his commitment date to Tuesday at 9 a.m. The 6-3-1/2, 344-pound guard from Milledgeville (GA) Baldwin County will announce where he's going to school next year at a school assembly.

(Maurice Hurt profile)

Hurt is a member of's South Hot 100. He is not only a star on both sides of the line for his high school team, but he is a standout in the classroom with a 3.4 GPA. He's already made a qualifying score on the SAT. That combination of football and academic success is why Florida, Auburn, LSU and Oklahoma have been recruiting him very hard.

He will make one school happy and break some recruiters hearts when he makes his formal announcement.

"I have a big announcement at school tomorrow at 9 a.m. to announce where I am going," he said late Monday night.

The trip to Gainesville was a huge success. Hurt admits he liked everything he saw from the academics to the size and electricity of the Saturday night football crowd. It was his first official visit to any school and he made the trip with his mother and father.

"I was with the academic counselors on Saturday and they talked to my parents and everything," Hurt said. "The game was a wild experience … in The Swamp with 90,000 people, the loudest place in America. I was in shock and awe about it all. The atmosphere in the locker room was great, them singing the alma mater and all."

After the game the coaches spent time with recruits that were not on official visits and let the official visitors hang out with the players for the night.

"I went out and hung out with some of the players, he said. "…Ronnie Wilson and some of the other guys. I met a lot of guys. I liked all the guys … they are just like guys at home."

Because he was an official visitor, he got to hang around the football offices and the athletic complex on Sunday. He got a lot of personal attention.

"Sunday we went and ate breakfast with some of the recruits and talked with Coach (Urban) Meyer and Coach (John) Hevesy," he said. "Then we got another tour of the stadium. We went into the locker room and they had a jersey that had my high school number on it. That was real neat looking at it like that."

The list of both official and unofficial visitors to Gainesville for the UF-Tennessee game was big time and Hurt got a chance to hang around with some of the biggest names in college recruiting this year. He thought everybody had a really good time.

"I talked to Carl Johnson (Florida OL commit from Durham, NC) and Jarred Odrick (defensive line prospect from Lebanon, PA)," he said. "Carl is already committed and Jarred said he would be thinking about it. I talked to other recruits and they liked what they saw. It was a good experience over all."

Maurice Hurt is a great kid who will be an early enrollee and go to college in January. The Big Hurt and The Pancake Man (Carl Johnson) are both set to graduate high school in December so they can get a head start on playing college football. From a size and potential perspective, these two big guys could almost cause an eclipse if they played on the same side of the line.

Look for more of this conversation tomorrow morning right after Hurt makes his announcement to attend the school of his choice. We'll have full coverage, including video, photos, and more...

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