Recruit Name: Maurice Ways
Height/Weight: 6-4, 195 lbs
Hometown/School: Franklin, MI (Detroit Country Day)
Position: Wide Receiver
247 Rating: ✮✮✮, 77th WR in the nation
Rivals Rating: ✮✮✮, 61st WRin the nation
ESPN Rating: ✮✮✮✮, 59th WR in the nation
Scout Rating: ✮✮✮, 58th WR in the nation
Clint Brewster, 247 Sports ($)
Big, strong receiver that can make catches in traffic. Ways has strong hands and showed a huge difference in his yards after the catch in his senior highlights. Ways has great strength and can break tackles, also possessing good top-end-speed. Really improved in his weaker areas, showing a great work effort and is a relentless blocker downfield. Ways has the size and ball skills that could be very tough for smaller defensive backs in college.
Tim Sullivan, Rivals ($)
Ways is a big-bodied, strong wide receiver with more athleticism than he's given credit for. He was the go-to guy for Detroit Country Day's passing spread offense in high school, so he has the reps under his belt to succeed. He is capable of the spectacular catch due to his leaping ability and hands.
Allen Trieu, Scout
Kid with a great frame and height. Has filled out his body, but needs to continue to do that and add strength. Shows good ball skills and uses his natural athleticism to track down the ball and can go up and get it in traffic. No timed speed on him, but shows ability to get downfield on film and also makes some things happen after the catch. Relatively inexperienced, so needs to continue to work on route running and technique.
His Role in 2014
Ways has a chance to crack the lineup in 2014, although that is necessarily not a given. With Michigan's primary targets from a year ago in Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo gone, an increase in production has to come from somewhere. Devin Funchess is switiching over to receiver full-time to try and make up some of the lost production and other players like Jehu Chesson and Amarah Darboh should be returning and seeing a significant production spike.
Also returning are seldom-used freshman a year ago in Da'Mario Jones, Jaron Dukes and Csont'e York.
Even a player like Freddy Canteen, who had an impressive spring, has a chance to be a starting receiver come August. Him and Drake Harris early enrolling definitely gives them a leg up on the other incoming freshman.
It will probably be difficult for him to see significant playing time in 2014 as a true freshman, but Ways shows promise as a future contributor.
Rivals' Tim Sullivan also believes ($) that Ways will have a difficult time seeing playing time this season.
In all likelihood, it's going to be difficult for Ways to see the field as a true freshman in 2014.
The Wolverines lose four contributors in the wide receiving corps from the 2013 season: Jeremy Gallon, Drew Dileo, Jeremy Jackson and Joe Reynolds. And that, in an of itself, is concerning, but sophomore Devin Funchess' emergence as a reliable and dangerous weapon at wide receiver (47 catches for 727 yards and six touchdowns) certainly helps alleviate some of that loss.
There will be a lot of competition for playing time at wide receiver in 2014. A true freshman coming in over the summer will have a difficult time getting on the field.