Detroit Country Day class of 2014 wide receiver Maurice Ways had a break out season in 2012 and is now drawing college attention, but the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Ways did not start out his high school career expecting to find his future on the gridiron.
"Basketball was my first love and that's what I came into high school wanting to do," Ways said. "At Country Day you are required to play two sports, so I said I might as well just play football and get another sport under my belt. After my sophomore season my coaches talked to me and said I could be good if I worked really hard. I took that under [consideration] and worked really hard going into my junior year."
The move paid off for both Ways and Country Day, who made it to the Division 4 state title game this past season. Ways contributed to the Yellowjackets success by catching 51 passes for 956 yards and 10 touchdowns.
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"This was actually my third year playing football and my first year playing varsity," Ways said. "I kind of got a taste of what it feels like to be a big-time player and make big-time plays. Going into the off-season, that is going to make me work even harder to get better and try to top the year I had this year. I am very excited for the summer."
Ways has the advantage of catching passes from a Division I quarterback in fellow junior Tyler Wiegers.
"Me and Tyler are friends off the field and I think that [carries over] onto the field," Ways said. "We make up for each other's weaknesses. Tyler is a really good quarterback with a heck of an arm and he knows in crunch time that he can count on me to make plays for him."
The recruiting process is just starting for Ways, but already he is hearing from the likes of Indiana, Northwestern, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan State and Illinois. He also received an in-school visit from Iowa coaches earlier this month.
One Big Ten program, however, has had his eye from the beginning of his fandom days, and another is starting to catch his attention as well.
"Michigan, that is where my heart is," Ways said. "I have been watching Michigan every Saturday. I have a lot of family in Ohio, so the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry we look forward to every year.
"Also, I took a visit to Ohio State during the season and I kind of fell in love on my first visit there."
Ways is still making noise on the basketball court for Detroit Country Day - a program that produced the likes of former NBA players Shane Battier and Chris Webber. In his second year as a starter at small forward Ways is averaging 9.5 points and 11.5 rebounds a game.