ORONO – The quarterback competition has come to a close at the University of Maine, and now the question remains to be answered: who will handle the ball under center for the Black Bears in 2017?
UMaine held its second preseason scrimmage Friday afternoon in the rain, which forced the four candidates auditioning for the job to roll with the elements. Redshirt freshman Chris Ferguson was the first to receive reps, with senior transfer Max Staver, redshirt senior Drew Belcher and true freshman Isaiah Robinson all following suit.
“The hardest part for us is going to be evaluating it with the guys they were out there with, but I thought production wise we did pretty good today,” head coach Joe Harasymiak said. Harasymiak gave praise in particular to Ferguson, Staver and Belcher, crediting each of them with successful drives.
Staver in particular shined for much of the day, leading two scoring drives capped off on the ground. The transfer has in the past run a similar pro style offense the Black Bears utilize, and said he felt comfortable with his performance Friday.
“Individually, I thought I was pretty accurate with the ball,” he said. “Made some good decisions. Moving forward, we just gotta clean up kinda as a group.”
Harasymiak gave credit to that group for their professionalism shown throughout the competition. He noted while he plans to make a decision this weekend, it has been a tough process for the coaching staff.
“You know, it’s hard. It’s Division I. Everybody wants to play, and everybody wants to win. It’s difficult for us because they’re all great kids. But we have to make a decision for the program and the team and who gives us the best chance to win.”
He had noted Thursday he had a favorite in mind for the job, though would not divulge details. He would, however, confirm that person rose to the occasion Friday.
“I would say the guy who I thought stepped up stepped up.”