Montigo Moss, a wide receiver and son of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss, is the Black Bears’ top returning pass-catcher.
University of Maine wide receiver Montigo Moss (center) is tackled by Colgate defensive back Asauni Allen during the Black Bears home opener at Alfond Stadium on Sept.10, 2022. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Montigo Moss finds himself in a new role this season for the University of Maine’s football team.

The wide receiver and son of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss is the Black Bears’ top returning pass-catcher and will garner a lot of attention from opposing secondaries this season.

“I’m hoping they double-team me. If they do, that will leave another receiver with a one-on-one,” Moss said.

Moss caught 35 passes last season for 398 yards. Both were career-highs. He was third on the team in both categories behind the departed Zavier Scott (42 catches-434 yards) and Kobay White (37-for-411).

The native of Charlotte, North Carolina, led the team in touchdown receptions with six.

UMaine second-year head coach Jordan Stevens expects Moss to have a big year.

“He’s a possession guy. He has great hands and great body control,” Stevens said. “If you throw the ball around his vicinity, he has the ability to come down with it.”

Moss is in the best shape he’s ever been, the coach added.

“I anticipate him having a really productive and consistent year on every down,” Stevens said.

UMaine junior cornerback Kahzir “Buggs” Brown, who goes up against Moss in practice, said Moss may not be the biggest (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) or fastest receiver around, “but if he gets his hands on the ball, he’s going to catch it.”

“You definitely have your hands full when you’re up against him,” Brown said. “He is a great receiver, he is a great route-runner and he is well-balanced. He doesn’t just do one thing well, he can do a lot of things well.”

Brown said when they need someone to make a big play, Moss comes through for them. Moss has shown the ability to make one-handed catches.

And he’s purposely taken on more of a leadership role this season, especially in the wide receivers room.

“That was my number one mindset for this year. Improve vocally on the field, off the field. Bringing energy and just helping everyone around me,” Moss said. “I’ve been trying to help the younger guys and the new guys who are filling roles to be able to fill the spots to the best of their ability.”

He is on the team’s leadership council, which includes a group of players that interacts with the players and the coaches.

“We have challenged him to become more of a leader and he has really risen to that challenge,” Stevens said. “When he speaks, he commands the room. He has the ears of his teammates. I’m really pleased with the progress he has made.”

Moss knows he will be dealing with double teams and tight coverages, and said he intends to watch a lot of videotape on opposing cornerbacks and safeties to try to get a handle on what he can exploit.

“I will see what happens as the game goes by so it will be about improving from the first snap to the end of the game,” he explained.

Senior quarterback Derek Robertson said Moss means a lot to the offense.

“He is a very dynamic player,” Robertson said. “We needed someone to step up and take a leadership role in our receivers room and he has done exactly that. He worked extremely hard in the offseason and has gotten bigger, stronger and faster. He works hard on his craft.”

Wide receivers coach Mikahael Waters said Moss has had a great training camp and is ready to take the next step.

“He is one of our best competitors,” Waters said.

The Black Bears have a new offensive coordinator in Steve Cooper and Moss said the new offense Cooper has installed has been a positive development.

“We enjoy it,” Moss said. “We’ve had two really good back-to-back days of practice. All camp has been really good. We’ve had the new offense since spring so for only having it for four or five months, I think we’re doing really well.”

UMaine opens its season at Florida International University in Miami on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m.