Maurice Ways committed to Michigan on April 25, 2013 adding a nice piece to the class that is already loaded. The commitment adds a good sized wide out for the Wolverines, and possibly a new favorite toy for either Shane Morris or Wilton Speight. Ways stands at a tall 6′-4 and weighs just a few pounds north of 190.
Bringing in a guy like Ways will take a lot of pressure off of highly touted wide out Drake Harris, and that could mean a bunch of points for this offense if both pan out the scouts project them to. He will also be a solid end zone threat due to his stature and length. Thinking about the possible depth chart and the possibility of putting up solid numbers and points is a realistic thought, and could give defensive coordinators fits in 2014 and beyond. Ways, Harris and DaMario Jones will handle the WR positions, and TE and Devin Funchess have showed he could play at a high level. Adding to Fuchess will be TE Jake Butt who will be given a shot at having a dual-threat TE position so at some point, one will be open and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Ways more often than not.
Furthermore, Ways skill set is something that should be brought to attention of Wolverine fans and teams that don’t necessarily know who Ways is. He has flown under the radar for the most part in my opinion, and deserves a little more recognition than he’s been getting. His ball skills are uncanny, definitely a plus for any receiver. This brings me back to my point about the red zone; Ways is a player that will be able to grab a ball in traffic almost every time, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a main target for one of the QBs competing for the starting job. That ability is something a coach will fall in love with, possibly giving him a shot early and adding a nice reputation with the staff. Secondly, he has very soft hands, which will add the security option when needed. Never a better feeling when your receiver can be counted on to catch a football when the team needs a crucial 3rd down conversion, or to kickstart an offensive possession.
One thing with Ways that may give an offensive coordinator is that he may not possess that big play factor as often as one would like. He has the potential, but it is a bit concerning, especially for a player that may be counted on early and often. Not saying he can’t make big plays, just not too sure if he will do it for the duration of his career. The reason I say this is because he will not “burn” the DB one on one consistently during a game. He is a good route runner and that’s why he can get open, but not strictly off speed alone. I can see Ways becoming a very good slot option for UM.
Overall, Ways will be a nice addition to the 2014 class at the slot receiver. Adding players like Drake Harris, Devin Funchess and Shane Morris to the mix definitely helps in the development of Ways and helps the team as a player as well. Flying under the radar is great if you are a player that can bring it on Saturdays, and Ways can and will. Just because the accolades aren’t there doesn’t mean he can’t be productive (see Jordan Kovacs for example) and a good ball player. Ways will get help and will help others at Michigan while attending college. He has a legitimate shot at being a great add to this team, and a player people will love.
As always, Go Blue!