Thursday, December 5, 2013
With more than two weeks remaining in training camp, junior Marcus Wasilewski has quietly taken control as starting quarterback for the University of Maine football team.
Marcus Wasilewski, a junior out of Pennsylvania, has just two completions in two years, but he’ll get his big chance to change that on Sept. 8.
Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer
WHO: Maine at Boston College
WHEN: 1 p.m. Sept. 8
Wasilewski and classmate John Ebeling had been in competition for the job since the departure of three-year starter Warren Smith and his capable back-up, Chris Treister.
In practice Wednesday and Thursday, Wasilewski took nearly all the repetitions while Ebeling played slot receiver.
"Nothing was really officially said," Wasilewski said. "At (Wednesday's) practice they moved John out to wide receiver and he was at the wide receivers meeting."
The Black Bears are coming off a 9-4 season in which they advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. They are scheduled to open the season Sept. 8 at Boston College of the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference.
"There's going to be a lot of preparation that goes into that game," said Wasilewski (pronounced wash-uh-less-kee), who is listed as 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds. "We're all really excited, but you know, we're going there to win. And in order to do that, we have to be on the same page, all pulling in one direction."
Wasilewski grew up in central Pennsylvania and, as a high school senior in 2008, led Mt. Carmel High to a 13-1 record and District IV state title. He sat out 2009 as a redshirt freshman in Orono and saw limited action in 2010 and 2011, mainly on special teams. He completed one pass in each of the past two seasons.
"Obviously, I'm really excited to have the opportunity to be the starting quarterback for this team," he said. "At the same time, I have to approach every practice the same way, just as if the competition was still going on, because in my mind it is. I've got to get better and work hard to be a great quarterback."
Ebeling, who stands 6-foot-4 and is also listed at 205 pounds, hails from Mahwah, N.J., and followed a similar path in Orono. After a redshirt year in 2009, he saw no game action in 2010 but played in all 13 games last fall, becoming the team's long snapper for punts and place-kicks and also filling in at slot receiver after injuries to starters.
In playoff games against Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, Ebeling caught two passes, both for touchdowns.
"That just shows how athletic John is, that he is able to play another position on the field," Wasilewski said.
"I couldn't do it. I think he's going to be a very valuable asset at receiver and I'm glad we can put him there."
Wasilewski said he and Ebeling have not discussed the situation since their roles became evident.
"John's really a class act about it," Wasilewski said. "I totally respect John for being the way he is. You never saw his head hang down. When they told him, 'Hey, you're going to play wide receiver.' John took it with open arms. (On Wednesday) he ran one of the best double-move routes that an inside receiver has run all (training) camp."
After a pair of away games at Boston College and Bryant University, Maine kicks off its Colonial Athletic Association schedule at Alfond Stadium on Sept. 22 against Albany.
Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: