Branded as a future MLB star at a young age, Hurst (and his 95 mph fastball) lived up those expectations, leading The Bolles School to a pair of state baseball titles. The Pittsburgh Pirates offered him a $400,000 signing bonus and made Hurst the team's 17th-round pick in the 2012 MLB draft.
However, after only two seasons in the Pirates' farm system, Hurst was looking for a change. He developed the "yips" and could no longer throw with accuracy off the mound. He tried moving positions, but to no avail.
Not ready to give up his dream of playing professional sports, Hurst returned to football (he played one season of high school football as a blocking wideout). He walked on at South Carolina, where he flourished at tight end, catching 100 passes over the past three seasons. Hurst holds the school record for receptions by a tight end.
With his physically impressive frame, Hurst is dominant at the catch point, using strong hands and focus to overwhelm defenders and secure the football. His play speed will threaten the seam, but the technical points of his game require refinement. This is no surprise given his late return to the game. However, Hurst flashes a competitive demeanor after the catch to barrel through contact, making it a chore for tacklers to get him on the ground.
A powerful blocker, Hurst loves to isolate and bully his target, clearing run lanes and driving his man off the screen. Although he is an older prospect (25 in August), he was a two-year team captain for the Gamecocks and already understands what it takes to be a professional. His blend of size, strength and toughness are imperative to playing the position at a high level and his skill set is NFL-ready.
--Field Level Media