Offensive tackle Cody Levy (60) of the University of Maine lines up against Western Kentucky during a game earlier this season. The senior has been a stabilizing force on the Black Bears' young offensive line. Credit: Ronnie Gillis | UMaine Athletics

ORONO, Maine — Cody Levy didn’t start playing football until eighth grade, so it took him awhile to get up to speed.

“I was trying to figure out the schemes. I also realized you could hit people without getting in trouble for it,” Levy said. “But I didn’t become a good player until 10th or 11th grade.”

Now, he’s the starting right tackle for the University of Maine. And the senior enjoys the challenge of being in the trenches, where his efforts might sometimes go unnoticed or unappreciated.

“Being able to move another person against their will is a good feeling, a powerful feeling,” Levy said. “And I tell Fitzy [Joe Fitzpatrick] and Ramon [Jefferson] that when they score a touchdown, it’s like me scoring a touchdown.”

Levy has a key role on this year’s team as he was the only offensive lineman with more than nine games of experience entering this season. He appeared in 25 games over the previous three falls.

“He has been extremely valuable,” UMaine head coach Joe Harasymiak said. “He has really changed, not only his body but his frame of mind. We feel has turned himself into an all-league player.”

Starting alongside Levy in the 13-10 win over Villanova last Saturday were three sophomores in center Chris Mulvey, right guard Liam Dobson and left tackle Gunnar Docos, and junior community college transfer Miguel Garcia.

The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Levy admitted that the inexperience has produced an inconsistent year so far for the offensive line.

“There’s a little bit of a learning curve for the younger guys and even sometimes for myself with some of the looks we’ve faced,” Levy said. “We just have to try to get better with each look, with the pressures and the blitzes we get.”

He tries to help out the other linemen as much as he can because he has been in their shoes.

“The older guys helped me [when I was a young player]. They brought me along and showed me the way. I’m trying to do that for our younger guys through film, looks and calls, and stuff like that,” Levy said.

Compounding things for the offensive line is the fact that starting quarterback Chris Ferguson has missed nearly three full games with an injury to his throwing shoulder. Ferguson might be able to return for Saturday’s showdown at Rhode Island.

Backup quarterback Isaiah Robinson and the offense strung together a nine-play, 48-yard drive in the final 1:39 of the Villanova game that set up Kenny Doak’s game-winning 52-yard field goal.

UMaine senior linebacker Sterling Sheffield goes up against Levy in practice and called him a playmaker.

“He’s very technically sound. He worked with [All-American] Jamil Demby a lot. He learned a lot from Demby. He’s a great asset for us,” Sheffield said.

Levy said while improving his technique, he also developed a better knowledge of the game which has helped him progress.

“As I’ve gotten older, I have a better understanding of what the defense is going to do. I’ll notice if a defensive lineman is in a certain stance or his eyes are in a certain spot. I’ll feel it out and will know what’s going to happen,” Levy said.

Levy, a native of Poughkeepsie, New York, was an all-state high school player at Roy C. Ketcham High School. He played on the defensive line as well as the offensive line.

The son of Bob and Tracy Levy was also an outstanding pitcher in baseball. His older brother, Bobby, was a quarterback in high school.

Levy said he chose UMaine for several reasons.

“I liked the guys and the coaching staff. The culture around here was good. I like how it was a blue-collar atmosphere. You had to work hard for what you got,” Levy said.

And he has put in the work, according to Ferguson.

“I can always look to him at any part of the game, and I know he is going to be locked in, mentally and physically,” Ferguson said. “He is always going to give it his all. He has a huge heart.”

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