|Detroit (MI) Country Day wide receiver Maurice Ways|
Ways is a 6'3", 195-pounder. As a junior in 2012, he had 51 receptions for 957 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Rivals: 3-star, #54 WR
Scout: 3-star, #51 WR
247 Sports: 3-star, 87 grade, #84 WR
Ways was picking up a steady stream of MAC offers along with a few mid-level BCS teams until the Wolverines offered a couple weekends ago. The writing seemed to be on the wall that he would commit to Michigan fairly soon, but Pitt went ahead and offered, anyway. He visited Michigan again and committed to the coaches.
There's a lot to like about Ways. He's a tall, lanky kid with the ability to get the ball at its highest point. He has good straight line speed and the ability to take the top off the defense, due to both his speed and size. He shows a natural ability to adjust to the ball in the air, whether he's boxing out defensive backs, accelerating through the ball, or getting his hands in the right position for the catch. He can go high or low to get the ball and makes a lot of great catches. With some added weight, he will be very difficult for cornerbacks to check at the line of scrimmage and tackle head on; that will also only help him as a blocker, and he's already a pretty willing and able in that area, where he keeps a wide base, moves his feet, and uses his hands well.
What Ways lacks most is lateral quickness and the ability to make people miss; he's not the type of player you want to see returning punts or the guy who will catch short passes and turn them into long gains. There have also been reports that Ways is inconsistent catching the ball; the highlights obviously show a kid who can make some very difficult catches, so the ability is there, but perhaps not the concentration.
I think Ways can have a good future at Michigan if he achieves the consistency required to get on the field. I'm not worried about his athleticism, despite his lack of short-area quickness. The talk about the pass drops is slightly concerning, but that's not something that can be discerned through highlight videos. At the very least, he can be used as a blocker who can stretch the field; in the best case scenario, I think he has All-Big Ten potential. I'm not the first one to say this, but his build, gait, speed, and athleticism remind me of former Michigan receiver Braylon Edwards.
Ways is the seventh commitment in the 2014 class and the second receiver, joining Drake Harris; he is also the first scholarship player from Country Day since linebacker Kenny Demens in 2008. That school has also produced players like 2014 QB Tyler Wiegers (committed to Rutgers), 2013 DT Poet Thomas (Texas Tech), 2011 WR Kenny Knight (Illinois), current Miami Heat small forward Shane Battier, and former Michigan basketball player Chris Webber.
TTB Rating: 77 (ratings explanation)