Former University of Maine quarterback Chris Ferguson is returning to the Colonial Athletic Association.
Ferguson, who was a three-year starter at UMaine, will compete for the quarterback job at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. That’s after spending the 2020 season at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he saw very limited playing time while backing up the dynamic Malik Willis this past fall.
The graduate student will be playing for his third team in three years and returning to a league he and the Black Bears championed in 2018. Ferguson won’t get a chance to play against UMaine in the regular season, though, as the two schools aren’t scheduled to face each other.
Ferguson said he doesn’t care what people think about his three-schools-in-three-years resume.
“I just wanted an opportunity to play,” said Ferguson, explaining it was unlikely he’d see playing time behind Willis at Liberty.
Ferguson started one game for the Flames when Willis was injured and led the team to a 28-7 win over North Alabama. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 64 yards and three touchdowns.
He played in parts of five other games and finished with a 51.4 percent pass completion rate. He threw for 197 yards and four touchdowns. He wasn’t intercepted.
Willis completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 2,260 yards and 20 touchdowns and was also the team’s leading rusher with 944 yards on 141 carries.
“Malik is spectacular. He could wind up being a first round (NFL) draft pick,” Ferguson said.
He was contacted by some Football Bowl Subdivision teams but he said they wanted him to walk-on and didn’t guarantee him an opportunity to compete for the starting job.
Towson gave him a scholarship and a chance to win the starting job.
“Towson is a lot like Maine. They have tough guys who want to win a CAA championship and go deep into the playoffs.”
Ferguson said he likes the idea of transferring to a league he knows very well and said he will be less than a 2 hour drive from his hometown of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.
He is enjoying his coaches and teammates at Towson and said his pocket-passer style fits in with their plans.
Ferguson, who led UMaine to the CAA title in 2018 and its first FCS semifinal appearance in school history, said he worked out very hard in the offseason to get ready for this season.
He said it would have been fun to play UMaine this coming season, but they could still meet in the playoffs.
Ferguson stays in contact with several of his former Black Bears teammates who are still playing for UMaine and with head coach Nick Charlton.
“I’m happy for him. I want what’s best for him,” Charlton said. “He was an important part of this program. He led us to a championship.”
Ferguson sustained a season-ending foot injury in a 24-17 loss to Richmond on Oct. 12, 2019, and freshman Joe Fagnano replaced him for the rest of the season.
Ferguson concluded his UMaine career sixth on the all-time list in passing yards, with 6,091. He completed 496 of 885 career passes with 46 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.