Michigan junior wide receiver Maurice Ways is almost back from a broken foot and is chomping at the bit the turn a stellar spring into a breakout fall.
For Maurice Ways the road to recovery is close to reaching its conclusion. The junior wideout broke his foot late in the spring, thus ending one of the more notable breakout performances on the team.
“(I) just went up for a jump ball, came down, landed wrong, and heard a little crack in my foot,” said Ways. “I'm good (now) though. It's all good though."
So good, even, that Ways was moving around pain free (albeit in a boot) during the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp in Detroit last week. It was his chance to help mold the gridiron skills of another crop of aspiring college athletes the same ways collegians had done for him when he was a camper.
"It's different, man. I was ‘Coach Moe’ today,” Ways said with a smile. “It's an amazing feeling giving back to the showcase that put me on… that gave me the offers and the exposure. I love being out here with the kids."
During the spring Ways received some mentorship of his own, but it didn’t come in the form of teaching from a coach. It came in the form of competition with an All-American teammate.
"(Jourdan Lewis) makes me better every day,” said Ways. “He pushes me to be great. He helps me with my routes every day and what I can do to be better to get open and not be so (predictable) with what I’m doing. JD is like a big brother to me. He's helping me out every day."
Lewis’ help often manifested as suffocating coverage. With Jehu Chesson sidelined for the entire spring it was baptism by fire for a relatively inexperienced receiving corps versus Lewis a veteran secondary. The one giant exception was senior wideout Amara Darboh who seemingly had his way with all of them.
"(The depleted receiver ranks) gave everybody a chance to get more reps and get better,” Ways said. “All the young guys got better reps and got more aggressive with the offense. Amara… he does what Darboh does. Darboh makes plays. He had a great spring as well."
Next that top performing receivers’ list was Ways. His strength was on another level, as evidenced by his 217- lb. frame, and his technique showed major refinement. After a few weeks he was winning his fair share of battles with Lewis.
"I think (my performance this spring) was good,” said Ways. “I definitely made improvement and got better in my game mentally and physically. I'm looking forward to picking up where I left off in camp."
That timeline is not just Ways being optimistic. He is extremely confident he will be ready to go in six week, if not sooner.
"Camp, man. The first day of camp I'll be ready to get at it.” Ways insisted. “I'm ready to get it for the season."