Scouting the Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. South Carolina

Colin's picture

Colin Littlefield

Draft Analyst Writer

The Outback Bowl features multiple draftable prospects, a majority of which are on the offensive side of the football. Michigan (8-4) is entering its third straight bowl game, all three of which have been led by Jim Harbaugh, and the Wolverines have our highest-rated prospect in the game on their side. South Carolina (8-4) is entering its second straight bowl game, both under Will Muschamp.

Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is the premier player on the field during the Outback Bowl. The fifth-year senior has 32 tackles and 4.5 sacks so far this season. He’s a little short for the position at 6-foot-2 but still has a bit of size to him, weighing in at 280 pounds. Hurst plays with great quickness off the ball and has a lightning-fast reaction to the snap of the football. Along with his quickness, Hurst has a very strong first punch; combining the two results in hell for his blockers. He also plays with a high football IQ, as he is constantly around the ball and aware of where the play is headed. Being under 300 pounds as a defensive tackle isn’t a huge red flag, but it will scare some teams away, although I think Hurst certainly can and will be able to hold his own against offensive linemen. Scouts would also like to see Hurst add a few more pass-rush moves to his arsenal, as he relies to his quick get-off and first punch to get past blockers; if he gets tangled up, he can struggle breaking free. Overall, Hurst is a great prospect and, as noted in our postseason Risers & Sliders, he made a great decision to stay for his senior year. We’ve stamped Hurst with a first-round grade, and after the Outback Bowl he can be seen in the 2018 Senior Bowl.

On the other side of the football, Wolverines center Mason Cole is a player to know. The four-year starter helped lead the Michigan offense to 4,259 yards this season. He’s tall for a center at 6-foot-5 but a little light for his frame, weighing 305 pounds. He plays with great athleticism and has spent time at left tackle and guard, displaying his versatility. A better run than pass blocker, he does a good job getting his hands inside a defender and efficiently works to the second level. In pass blocking, Cole knows his quickness is a weakness, so he tries to get hand placement as soon as he can. When he is in space, Cole will struggle to engage defenders. We’ve awarded him a second-round grade, and he can be seen in this year’s Senior Bowl.

For the Gamecocks, cornerback Rashad Fenton is the top prospect on the team. The junior has totaled 48 tackles and one interception this season. He also has been able to put his athleticism on display, spending some time as a returner throughout his career. Standing at 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds, Fenton has rather typical size for a cornerback. He’s very good in coverage and can lock down receivers. For the next level, Fenton will need to improve his run defense, as his size is already a limiting factor when it comes to taking down larger ball carriers.

Outback Bowl Prospects

Grade

Round

Full Name

School

Pos

Num

Yr

4.15

1st

Maurice Hurst

Michigan

DT

73

5Sr

3.92

2nd

Mason Cole

Michigan

C

52

4Sr

3.62

3rd

Rashad Fenton

South Carolina

CB

16

3Jr

3.62

3rd

Michael McCray

Michigan

ILB

9

5Sr

3.49

5-6

Hayden Hurst

South Carolina

TE

81

3Jr

3.38

6th

Deebo Samuel

South Carolina

WR

1

4Jr

3.37

6th

Malik Young

South Carolina

G

77

4Jr

3.36

6th

Khalid Hill

Michigan

FB

80

5Sr

3.34

6th

Grant Newsome

Michigan

T

N

3Jr

3.28

7th

Jamarcus King

South Carolina

CB

7

4Sr

3.28

7th

Chase Winovich

Michigan

DE

15

4Jr

3.19

FA

Bryson Allen-Williams

South Carolina

ILB

4

4Sr

3.17

FA

Zack Bailey

South Carolina

G

78

4Jr

3.16

FA

Wilton Speight

Michigan

QB

 

3Jr

3.00

FA

Skai Moore

South Carolina

OLB

10

5Sr

2.89

FA

Alan Knott

South Carolina

C

70

5Sr

2.84

FA

Ulric Jones

South Carolina

DT

93

4Sr

2.79

FA

Taylor Stallworth

South Carolina

DT

90

4Sr

2.73

FA

Chris Lammons

South Carolina

CB

3

4Sr

2.72

FA

Dante Sawyer

South Carolina

DE

95

4Sr