2016 Season Countdown: #50 Maurice Ways

2016 Season Countdown: #50 Maurice Ways

July 23, 2016
Maurice Ways 181x

Maurice Ways

Just for some perspective, I counted approximately 50-55 players in the 2015 Season Countdown who ended up having a noteworthy impact on the team. That gives you roughly a two-deep on both sides of the ball, plus some special teamers and other rotation guys. So as we hit #50 with Maurice Ways, this is entering the territory where we should be talking about guys who will see significant snaps, not just in garbage time or an occasional special teams snap.

Name: Maurice Ways
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Country Day
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #85
Last year: I ranked Ways #40 and said he would be a backup receiver (LINK). He started two games, making 3 catches for 40 yards.

I thought Ways would take a step forward as a redshirt freshman last season, and he did to an extent. Michigan used the starting wide receivers and a bevy of tight ends in the passing game, so there weren’t a lot of receptions to go around for backup receivers. In fact, only 12 receptions were recorded by wide receivers not named Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboh, and Grant Perry. Drake Harris had 6, Ways had 3, and the other 3 went to guys who are no longer on the roster (Da’Mario Jones, Freddy Canteen, and Brian Cole). The thing that got Ways on the field was his ability to block, as he was considered to be the most effective blocker of the backup crew.

Michigan should have even more talent at the tight end spots this year, and the top three wideouts return. There’s no real reason to expect Ways’s role to increase, especially considering the fact that he broke his foot during the spring and wound up having surgery. He is expected to be healthy by the beginning of the season, but whether he’s back to full strength or not is a slightly different subject. I think he can carve out a role once again as a blocking receiver, because he has the best size of any receiver on the team at 6’3″, 210 lbs. But if he’s going to make an impact in the passing game, it probably won’t be until 2017, once Darboh and Chesson have moved on to the NFL.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver


  1. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    Ways has some good potential. Despite the depth in front of him, he will want to somehow make a bigger contribution this season and earn more trust from the staff. WR competition is about to heat up with Nice prospects from the ’16 and ’17 recruiting classes.

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jul 23, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    The backup’s roles this year should increase in importance with a less competitive schedule and a significant need to develop players for next year. That wasn’t the case last year.

    Very appropriate rank for Ways this year. Even though his position on the depth chart didn’t improve (it might even go down after the freshman arrive) his production should increase significantly. I would guess Ways gets 10-15 catches. He’ll get snaps in non-competitive situations, 4-wide sets (infrequent) and maybe occasionally when Darboh/Chesson need a breather.

    I’ve never been a believer in Ways’ talent but the blocking ability is a legitimate asset. It’ll be good for the younger WRs to have to compete against that.vI think he’ll get a bunch of snaps and be a ‘trusted agent’ for this coaching staff if he shores up the hands issues he was reported to have.

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