Ways In-Depth on Michigan Commitment

Detroit Country Day (Mich.) junior wide receive Maurice Ways talks about what made him choose Michigan, the goals he has for his new team, and what will be going through his head the first time he runs into The Big House.

After only playing football for a couple years, Maurice Ways caught on quickly, putting together a fine junior season and earning scholarship offers in the process. On Thursday, he accepted one of his offers, committing to the Michigan Wolverines.

"I want to thank God that I have this great opportunity," he explained. "I'm so happy. Not every day a dream comes true and ever since I was seven years old, I've always dreamed for playing for the University of Michigan and the fact that my hard work has paid off and I made this happen through hard work and dedication, chasing after my dream, it's a great feeling. I'm just so blessed."

Ways' commitment hardly came as a surprise to those who had followed his recruitment. A big part of the choice, he says, was head coach Brady Hoke, and his meeting with him last week sealed the day.

"First off, I met with Coach Hoke, me and my family met with Coach Hoke [Thursday]. He's just a genuine, nice man, just a nice guy that really cares about his kids outside of football. When we first talked, you asked me what I was looking for in a college and that's what I was looking for was a coach and a college that cares about me, not just as a football player, but as a young man. Coach Hoke definitely fits that criteria. He told me that he's married, he has one daughter, but he said he has 100+ sons, meaning every guy on that is on that team is part of his family and when he said that, I just knew that he really cares about me off the field and as a young man and growing up and learning about life."

Ways continued, "Not just that, but the tradition at Michigan is great from the Big House to Maize and Blue to Coach Schembechler and then to the number one jersey, the winningest program in college football history. They're accustomed to winning at Michigan and I'm a winner, and I'm looking forward to keep it going."

Ways also has a strong relationship with the man who is going to be coaching him on the finer points of the position.

"Coach Heck is a great guy and cares about me off the field also. When I called and told him I committed, he just screamed and was like finally, he couldn't stop smiling. He said if he saw me in person he would give me a big hug and he said he could finally sleep at night because I committed and he kept trying to figure out what else he had to do or say to get me to commit to Michigan. And he said welcome to the family, once again, that just solidified what I was looking for in a college. It's just a little thing, but it's the little things that matter most to me and when he said that, I knew I made the right decision and he said he's going to take the best out of me, make sure I'm the best receiver I can be, he's going to coach me. Once again, he's not just going to impact me as a football player, he's going to impact me as a young man. I'm just excited that he's my position coach and I'm part of the Michigan family."

A family which is going to have some size at receiver.

"They said I fit it perfectly. They're changing their offense to pro style. They want bigger receivers, faster, physical who can go up and get the ball and they said I can stretch the field. He told me that he thinks my potential is high, my best football is going to be in college because I've only been playing football for three years now, my best football is ahead of me and he said he's going to keep working, stay persistent when you get here, going to coach you to be the best football player you can be. We're going to give you knowledge and teach you things, let you reach your highest potential. He said come in working hard, and you never know what could happen, you could play as a freshman, play as a sophomore, my whole thing, my whole goal is to leave my foot print on Michigan football by the time I leave there and I'll be working to do that."

While it was not a deciding factor for him, the fact that Ways is part of a class that is coming together nicely for Michigan contributes to his excitement about his choice.

"It's exciting. It's very very exciting. We have a chance to do something very special at Michigan, not just win the Rose Bowl, not just win the Big Ten, but to compete and win national championships and bring it back to Michigan and seeing that and knowing great players want to come to Michigan and win, and the fact that they built a resume on winning and doing it the right way, they attract the best players in the country to come play there. We put all these players on one team and have the best coaches in the country coach them up, something special happens and that's what's brewing at Michigan right now, something special. Coach Hoke said he's changing Michigan back to the Michigan way, to the right way, to the old fashioned Michigan football, defense first and scoring points and winning games. I'm excited to be a part of it and I'm excited to be part of it in 2014."

And when he finally runs out of the tunnel in Fall of 2014, what will his thoughts be?

"Thank God! It's a dream come true, let's go ahead and ball and get this win."


Get to Know Maurice Ways:

Favorite Player: Calvin Johnson
Favorite Michigan player: Braylon Edwards/Charles Woodson
Favorite Movie: The Lion King
Favorite Musical Artist: Kanye West
Major: Sports Management


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