Redshirt freshman Chris Ferguson of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, will be taking the snaps as the starting quarterback for the University of Maine when the Black Bears open the season on Aug. 31 against archrival University of New Hampshire.

Ferguson Saturday morning was named the starter by second-year head coach Joe Harasymiak.

He beat out graduate student transfer Max Staver, redshirt junior Drew Belcher and true freshman Isaiah Robinson.

“[Ferguson] has demonstrated a complete body of work throughout this preseason. We feel that Chris gives us the best opportunity to be successful,” Harasymiak said in a statement. “We are excited about moving forward from this as a team and focusing on UNH.”

The 6-foot-4, 226-pound Ferguson was a first-team 4A Philadelphia All-Catholic League selection at La Salle Academy in Philadelphia.

He quarterbacked his team to a league and District 12 City of Philadelphia 4A championship. He passed for over 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns and completed 58 percent of his passes his senior year.

The Black Bears had two scrimmage games during preseason, including one last Friday.

In preparation for this season, Ferguson said he devoted his time to improving his arm strength, accuracy and footwork.

He added that he felt much more comfortable this season after noting that his first training camp last fall was eye-opening.

“It was something else, but you need to go through it,” he said earlier this month.

Ferguson made an instant impact in the first scrimmage, completing five of his first seven passes.

He said after the first scrimmage that he focused on “playing football and having fun. I tried to make the easy throws. I tried to be consistent.”

Ferguson will have the benefit of being behind a veteran offensive line, throwing to a deep and talented wide receiver corps and handing the ball off to a seasoned and diverse group of running backs.

UMaine’s Aug. 31 opener is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium in Durham, New Hampshire.