The University of Maine’s football program has added a transfer running back who was an all-conference kickoff returner.
John Gay was an All-Patriot League second team kickoff returner at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and will have three years of eligibility remaining when he joins the UMaine program this fall.
Lafayette, like UMaine, is a Football Championship Subdivision team.
“We recruited John out of high school. We liked him a lot. We have already built a relationship with him,” said UMaine head coach Nick Charlton, who noted that Gay is “very fast” and will add value to offense and special teams.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Gay spent two seasons at Lafayette where he appeared in 14 games for the Leopards. Gay was named to the All-Patriot League Second Team as a kick return specialist after returning five kicks for 108 yards in two games this spring, an average of 21.6 yards per kickoff return.
He also carried the ball seven times for 19 yards and added a blocked punt in a win over Lehigh.
Lafayette played an abbreviated three-game schedule this spring.
As a rookie, Gay appeared in 12 games with five starts while ranking fourth on the team in rushing after gaining 216 yards and scoring two touchdowns on 65 rushing attempts. Gay also notched 12 receptions for 56 yards and a score.
Prior to his time at Lafayette, the Jeannette, Pennsylvania, native spent a year at the United States Air Force Academy Prep School in Colorado after earning his high school diploma from Penn-Trafford High School in Pennsylvania.
At Penn-Trafford, Gay posted all-conference accolades as a senior after rushing for 1,285 yards and 19 touchdowns to guide his team to the WPIAL Class 5A title game.
He achieved Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete honors and was named the scsportsworld.com Player of the Year. Gay was also an accomplished track and field athlete, holding school records in the 100 meter (10.74) and 200 meter (22.2) dashes.
Gay will compete with four scholarship running backs for playing time this fall.
Gay’s cousin, William Gay, was a cornerback who played in 176 games for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals.