College Football 2012 Top 150 Players: No. 82 James Hurst North Carolina T
Every day here at Your Best 11, we are counting down to the start of the regular season with our top 150 players for the 2012 season.
No. 82: James Hurst, No. 68, North Carolina, Tackle
At 6'7" and 310-pounds, the rising junior's size is his first asset. He's an imposing figure, and he has the athleticism to go with the size. Hurst walked onto campus and started for the Tar Heels as a freshman, earning Freshman All-American honors for his work at the tackle position.
In 2011, Hurst and the Tar Heels' running game as a whole took a giant step forward—even as the program was crumbling around them. Giovani Bernard became the first 1,000-yard running back for North Carolina since 1997's Jonathan Linton.
Hurst has great feet for a big man and he has the power behind his initial punch to knock defensive ends off balance and then get to the next level to punish linebackers.
With the coaching change comes a new system, and that is going to be interesting for Hurst when it comes to adjustments. Instead of playing a pro-style attack, Hurst is going to be in a spread, albeit a power spread.
We'll have to watch how his weight changes, as the Tar Heels are pushing the tempo, not just in games but in practices as well.
If Hurst can keep his weight up above 300 and flourish in Larry Fedora's attack, he will be a big-time player in 2012.
Thanks to Chris Kapilovic and Larry Fedora, Hurst should be on tap to have a stellar 2012 season. Kap is a guy who truly believes in having his linemen play tough, physical football, and while it will be a spread attack much like Urban Meyer's, the Tar Heels will be pushing the physicality.
After a 2011 season that saw James Hurst make the All-ACC Second Team, the 2012 campaign should see the junior push to the first team and possibly make an All-American squad.
Giovani Bernard is one the nation's most explosive backs, and as he racks up yardage, James Hurst will become a name plenty of fans know for clearing holes.
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