Maurice Ways found it hard to understand Bobby Kennedy.
"He had a really raspy voice," Ways said of the Iowa assistant. "He said he does a lot of yelling as a football coach."
Ways was able to make out the reason for Kennedy's call last week. The Michigan wide receiver was being offered a scholarship.
"I hadn't had any previous contact with him," Ways said. "He said this was his first year at Iowa and he saw my highlight tape that morning. He said he was impressed with what I can do and that I had the skills that could help their team. He said that they wanted to be the first Big Ten team to offer me."
Kennedy replaced Erik Campbell as Iowa's wide receivers coach this offseason.
"It was a very good first impression," said Ways, who plays at Detroit Country Day. "We had a good conversation. It was very casual. It didn't seem forced. It was easy.
"He's a down-to-earth type guy. He talked about family, Iowa City and the football experience there. It was really good."
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Ways said that recruiting started slow for him but has been picking up. He reported scholarship offers from Iowa, Eastern Michigan, Wester Michigan, Toledo and Bowling Green. He said he has heard consistently from Ohio State, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Central Michigan, Georgia Tech, Boston College and Indiana.
"I'm just trying to enjoy the whole process, you know, take it slow, not try to rush anything," Ways said. "I want to weigh all of my options and get all the information that I need. Once I do that, I will sit down with my mom and dad and we'll decide what's the best place for me.
"But it's a fun process. It's good to know that my hard work has started to pay off. I'm excited for the next level."
Ways is scheduled to be at Michigan State Thursday and again on March 28. He planned to be at Northwestern on the 16th and Ohio State on the 30th. He attended a Buckeyes game in the fall and also visited Toledo and Pittsburgh.
"I'm definitely going to Iowa for a spring practice and probably the spring game," Ways said. "I'm going to visit Michigan soon and Pittsburgh again. Other than that, we'll see."
Ways said he has not run an official 40-yard dash. He clocked a 4.6-second time "messing around."
"I'm more of an outside receiver," Ways said. "That's where I play at Country Day. I get the ball at the highest point. I like to make the big plays. I'm very physical and I enjoy blocking. I catch the ball with my hands. I'm trying to be as explosive as I can with and without the ball."
Ways, who plans to study business in college, said academics are the No. 1 priority for him in choosing a school.
"I want to go somewhere I can get a great education and be set for life in terms of having a good career," he said. "Football wise, I want to go to a place where the coaches care about me outside of the football field. They care about my future.
"I want to be around a group of guys that have each other's backs. When things get hard, we don't turn on each other. I'm looking for a family type thing."
Ways likes Iowa's approach.
"(Kennedy) told me the recruiting process is going to be long but he's going to take it slow and try to build a relationship with me and see what happens in February," Ways aid. "I don't know a lot about them yet. I have seen them play. I'm looking forward to learning more about them."