Dan Collins has won his job back.
The junior from Williamstown, New Jersey, who in 2014 was named the starting quarterback for the University of Maine football team two days before the season opener, has again earned the nod.
This time, it was barely 24 hours before the first game.
Black Bears head coach Jack Cosgrove on Friday revealed the coaching staff’s decision, although he could not be reached for comment later in the day.
“I’ve made quarterback decisions before,” Cosgrove said Thursday night during the “Coach Cos Radio Show.”
“This was by far the hardest,” he said.
Collins, a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder, will lead the offense onto the field when UMaine visits Boston College of the Atlantic Coast Conference in a 1 p.m. game at Alumni Field in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
Collins again edged out sophomore Drew Belcher of Reading, Massachusetts, for the top spot on the depth chart.
Cosgrove previously indicated that he has a much greater comfort level with the quarterback position this season, since both contenders saw significant action a year ago and have progressed during the offseason and training camp.
“We have two very good football players, two quarterbacks who have won in this league, and they’re really doing an outstanding job,” Cosgrove said.
“They both have obvious strengths, things that they’ve gotten better at,” he added.
Collins has worked his way back after he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during the Black Bears’ Oct. 11 game at Stony Brook last fall.
Collins rehabilitated the shoulder, was back throwing during spring ball and has continued to demonstrate improvement during preseason.
Collins played in six games in 2014, leading the Black Bears to a 2-4 record. Collins completed 77 of 143 passes for 908 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions.
Belcher, who checks in at 6-3, 230 pounds, was 77-for-152 good for 740 yards, three TDs and three INTs. He also rushed for 312 yards and two scores.
The Black Bears went 3-2 with him as the starter, including a string of three consecutive wins late in the season.
The fact Collins will start does not preclude the possibility of Belcher seeing action against Boston College. That was the case last year, when Belcher made his collegiate debut in the Bears’ 40-10 loss to the Eagles.
Cosgrove on Monday did not rule out the possibility of using some type of platoon system that incorporated both Collins and Belcher.
“This day and age, you want to say one [quarterback], and I’m a believer of that, but this is 2015, and when you’re working with young people that are competitive and talented, and you can get them on the field to help you win, why not?” Cosgrove said during the Colonial Athletic Association weekly media teleconference.