Exit Moe Ways

Submitted by Seth on November 29th, 2017 at 6:26 PM

We’ve got another (expected) departure, as WR Maurice Ways tonight announced his plans to grad transfer for his final season of eligibility on Instagram:

Dear Michigan, I stepped onto campus in 2014 as a young 18 year old kid, anxious to play and filled with excitement. Now, 4 years later.. I’m leaving as a 21 year old man who has matured and learned so much about himself. -Thank you Coach Hoke & staff for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to put on the Winged Helmet. -Thank you Coach Harbough & staff for teaching me the game of football and pushing me past my limits everyday to achieve greatness. -To my teammates and WR Crew.. love y’all boys man! #CrewThick forever! -Lastly to the fans! Thank you!! I will miss running out of the tunnel and hitting the banner as “Hail to The Victors” plays while 100,000+ are screaming and yelling “Go Blue”. This has been an unforgettable 4 years and I’m excited for the blessings God has in store for me at my next school for my 5th year. THANK YOU MICHIGAN! The BIG HOUSE will forever be Ho〽️e! Love! Moe Ways 85

A post shared by Moe Ways (@moeways) on

After classmate Drake Harris, Ways was the most highly regarded among the great leaping receivers that Borges recruited to Michigan. Moe was also the most productive, gathering eight receptions for 71 yards spread across the 2015-2017 seasons, and occasionally poking his head into the normal receiver rotation. Ways never materialized into the Junior Hemingway-esque downfield threat it was hoped he would be. Once the freshmen were passing him last year it appeared the writing was on the wall, and when the 2017 crop also did so it was an all but foregone conclusion that Ways was unlikely to find playing time at Michigan. He leaves with a Michigan degree and an opportunity to play right away at his choice of school.

Michigan remains stocked with outside targets, all of whom will be in their second or third seasons in 2018: Kekoa Crawford, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black, Oliver Martin, Nico Collins, and Nate Schoenle, not to mention the slots and tight ends.

If it seems strange to you that we keep announcing graduate transfers, it’s only because it wasn’t usual before players had a social media presence to make these things public before spring rosters came out.


South Bend Wolverine

November 29th, 2017 at 6:38 PM ^

I'm still bummed about Speight leaving, as I think he had a very real shot to not only be the starter next year, but to be a star.  Still, I get why he wouldn't want to be in a battle for playing time as a 5th year senior.

Other than him, though, I definitely agree, and have been thinking the same thing.  It's always a little sad to see these guys go, especially when there was so much hope for big-time production early on, but it's often best for both parties.  Especially in cases like this where the dude is walking out of here with a UM degree in hand, it makes good sense.  Hope for the best for all of them.


November 29th, 2017 at 7:48 PM ^

I mean him not being here doesn't really say good things about next season at this point. It just means there is no veteran option if Peter's isn't really ready to step up. Speight showed he could be an effective QB two years ago. If he start against OSU we probably win? I just don't get why anyone is comfortable with so many unproven options after Peters for next year.


November 30th, 2017 at 8:27 AM ^

Absolutely Speight did and Peters looked ok in his first real game action but there's not a whole lot of evidence there, at this point its tough to infer anything really good or really bad about his quarterback play.  What's the expectation at this point for Peters?  Solid B/B+ quarterbacking with some flashes where he wins games for us next season?  I think that gets us 10 wins next year IF the offensive line improves and we can rely on the running game.  I guess my bigger concern is that Peters is still unproven and behind him there is nothing but question marks.  There isn't a guy whose been in this system for a couple years who can step up if Peters gets nicked up or goes down for any period of time.  We have to hope that McCaffrey is far along enough to pick up the reigns and even with how bad JOK played (except Purdue) our coaches weren't comfortable enough to make that switch until 7 games into the season.  I think there's higher upside at the QB position for sure but man its a bit scary to me right now.


November 30th, 2017 at 12:39 PM ^

unproven when he started his first game in 2016? Peters will have at least 4 games under his belt, as a starter, before the 2018 season starts. He has a ton of talent and seems to be improving all the time, with a much higher ceiling then Speight. It's time for Harabaughs recruits to take over this team and lead us into championship games. Everyone because a starter evenrtually without a lot of past experience.


November 30th, 2017 at 2:29 PM ^

He was, with Malzone and JOK as his backups.  That's definitely a worse situation than we will be in next year but not by that much.  I don't think anyone was doing backflips about our QB race in 2016.  Turns out we had a lot of good supporting pieces to help Speight along and a killer defense.  Hopefully that formula works next year, and hopefully Peters is the real deal, and hopefully we can keep him upright.  Just seems like a lot of people are happy to see him go and I understand our QB situation has higher upside at this point but they are yound and unproven.  That could be great or it could be a disaster.


November 30th, 2017 at 1:10 AM ^

How in the world would speight be a star next year if he was'nt this year. Stars don't compete with other players, they destroy other players in practice. Speight was given more than a fair shake and played poorly in every big game starting with Iowa.

When you have the number one defense in the country and you lose games you can start looking right at QB play and guess what that is why Michigan lost games last year. They were close but that is why they lost. Yes the o-line could have been better, but if we had Watson we win every gane by at least twenty to thirty points.

I don't know where Speight is headed but I can guarantee you the QB's there are not just going to lay down and give him the job. Speight is leaving because Peters and Mccafrey are better than him. Peters did the same thing and had some type of entitlement thing when he got put as third string. Good that he got over that and got back to the playbook and learning. Yes he is obviously way better than JOK and to be quite honest I can't understand how he got put behind him.

I will tell you this Harbaugh has had his fill of shitty QB's. Speight played well at first last year, but hit his ceiling and then regressed. Okorn had no business ever playing at Michigan and the same for Malzone. Enter Peters who has talent, but he better toughen up because McCafrey is the real deal and it will be real interesting to see who starts next year.

Harbaugh is turning up the heat next year and he is starting at QB. If you have some sense of entitlement you better go elsewhere. From the Iowa game on last year the QB has been a running joke except for the games Peters played in this year as far as I am concerned. Way to many excuses. Michigan lost football games because of inconsistent play by the o-line but mostly because the QB has been fuckin abysmal. Michigan plays every game with one hand tied to their balls because of the QB play and every one knows it. We finally are going to have QB's that Harbaugh recruited playing and I think it will be much better and Peters has allready shown he is better than Speight. I don't know who recruited Malzone, but knew he would never play and said so when he signed.

I was listening to spath go on about Michigan losing and the excuses and how he has no faith that Michigan can ever when a meaningful football. I personally feel pretty good about the future and how Harbaugh is doing. I think Michigan will erase all the bullshit next year and silence everyone. The reason being the defense will be lights out and we will not be handicapping the tough games by playing a QB who can't make passes I see high schoolers making.

No Speight was not going to beat out Peters or McCafrey and he knows it. As people I like JOK and Speight a lot. I think they are class guys who try hard. They just are not very good QB's at the college football level. I hope they have great lives and wish them well. With that being said every game except for psu that Michigan has lost the last two years is because of the QB and O-line. Nothing else needs to be said. Those two things need to be fixed and I believe they will. There will be major competition at all positions and I see some guys sitting who started this year. We will have a better o-line and Qb and will win games against ranked teams. We will beat south carolina, but I don't know if there ranked and we will beat a ranked ND team to begin the year. I actually know we will be kicking their asses. Michigan will be making believers soon enough, but some feelings are going to be hurt because to play you are actually going to have to beat out other good players at every position.



November 30th, 2017 at 7:49 AM ^

I hope this is not true.  However, I could see it happening based on depth chart.  

Another thing to keep an eye on is the 4 grad transfers thus far going to next school together.  The fact that Moe, WS, DH, and AM all announced when they did is not a coincidence, they are all great friends, and most live together.  Add in Wangler (graduating) and Bunting and this is their full circle.  Some of the coaches and recruiting coordinators went to CMU after last season, and played a role in getting Shane.  I know it's speculated that WS may go to Virgina, but the others would not surprise me if they ended up together in the MAC or somewhere else.

Will one of the running backs not be back?  Heard some rumblings yesterday.

Thanks for the info/speculation UMbig11


panthera leo fututio

November 29th, 2017 at 6:37 PM ^

I don't know how standard this is, but the fact that so many of the departing seniors (or juniors in the case of Malzone) with remaining eligibility are going the grad transfer route makes me happy. That guys are graduating, and that they're not so burnt out on football that they'd rather just hang up their cleats, seems to reflect well on the staff.


November 29th, 2017 at 6:39 PM ^

The new world means transfers and public postings about them.

This is good for the players. Guys like Ways get a good degree and a good experience playing at Michigan, and then get to go somewhere to get a chance at more field time and another year of action before their football careers likely end. He also gets to communicate to the fans, leaving on good terms and getting a bit of deserved attention for the work put in.

It's good for the team, too. More scholarships to offer, more guys to bring in. Over four years you can get an extra 16-20 guys on the roster this way, I would guess. A few of those will just be guys, but a few can become contributors or even stars. 

College football isn't perfect and this doesn't fix the money issues, but it's good for everyone. The grad transfer rule is one of the best things the NCAA has produced in recent history, IMO.


November 29th, 2017 at 6:51 PM ^

Good take on the process today. I'm always a little saddened by these transfers, because virtually every recruit came in fresh-eyed with visions of hitting the two-deep or becoming a starter at some point in their Michigan career, and maybe even an NFLer, but numbers mean everyone can't do it.

Some will be the the scout team or blowout victory final minutes guys. And I know despite all the good times and personal growth that comes from being a M football player, there's got to be some disappointment as they internalize the fact that their dream isn't going to manifest itself as they had hoped it would. Still, they leave with the experience, and the M degree, ready to take on the next challenge. I'm happy for them, but feel a little wistful too.

South Bend Wolverine

November 29th, 2017 at 6:51 PM ^

It's also good for players from smaller programs who turn out to have more talent than folks initially realized.  The fact that they have a way to get a shot at the big time on the back end of their college careeers is pretty cool.

Of course, sometimes the small programs don't like this so much, since it means their top talent can get pulled out from under them.  OTOH, they also get to scoop up some guys from bigger programs who they wouldn't otherwise have had a shot at, so I figure it probably works out about even for them on balance.


November 29th, 2017 at 7:12 PM ^

but Chesson and Darboh worked out pretty well.  And I think Harris would've worked out if not for cripplingly bad injury luck that really isn't fair to say the coaches should've predicted.  (Not that you have, but just sayin'. . .)

Bear in mind Hoke was the HC.  Of course Borges was the OC, and there was also the WR coach who was so insignificant I can't remember his name.  Point is, I don't know who decided what.


November 29th, 2017 at 7:08 PM ^

the most interesting thing to me about these announcements is that they're all being made via Instagram when Twitter used to be the platform of choice for commit/transfer announcements.


November 29th, 2017 at 7:31 PM ^

I was irrationally excited for Moe when he committed. it's weird when that happens, as I never watch highlight films or generally know anything about recruits other than what I read here. In this case, I'm guessing it was because he has a great name. Best of luck to the young man.

Blue in Paradise

November 29th, 2017 at 7:44 PM ^

I really thought Ways would be at least a solid receiver with his size and athleticism. Plus he seems like a really good guy - so it stinks that it just didn’t work out for him. He seemed ready to break through into the 2 deep during the 2016 spring camp before he broke his foot.

Best of luck young man, I will be rooting for you wherever your journey takes you.


November 29th, 2017 at 7:40 PM ^

as to these transfers. Almost all I've seen have thanked Harbaugh and the current staff for teaching them the game of football after the thanks to Hoke for the invitation to Michigan. This does speak volumes about our current coaches. It suggest they all did, indeed, have their chances and were not ignored but taught as much as they could absorb. The numbers thing, as another suggested, along with the fact that at this level you really find out just how good you are and can see the proof of those that have the 'measureables" for this level of competition daily. They all realize they are better people for their time spent at Michigan and better fb players for their time spent with this staff. Good luck Moe and to all others choosing another path for their post grad work and their football futures. For most, even if they don't make the league, they'll have one year of being able to shine if they pick that way.