Maine’s Kobay White returns to the field after nursing an ankle injury for the first full game in over a year

ORONO- When Maine adapted for Villanova on Saturday, a new Black Bears were throwing the pads for their first full, healthy game in a long time — and after all the hurdles, Kobay White now has a fresh perspective on the game.

“The next game is not promised, every game is an opportunity,” White said. “It’s a blessing to be able to take this ground, because you have no idea when your last shot was taken.”

“He persevered, he showed a lot and showed he’s capable of leading,” White’s QB Joe Fagnano said.

“He’s done a really good job with his rehabilitation, his return to the field, and you really felt his presence on Saturday,” head coach Jordan Stevens said.

White came to Maine last offseason as a grad transfer, having spent the early part of his career at Boston College with the Eagles. During his senior year at Chestnut Hill, he suffered a torn ACL.

“I’ve had 33 consecutive career starts, I never thought I’d miss a game, let alone a season,” he said. “It was definitely a different perspective and space that I hadn’t walked into, but now that I’ve been there, it has definitely given me a different perspective on the game.”

Now in his sixth year of college football, White has found a new home here in Orono.

“I’ve been here for about a month, two months, and I’ve been pretty close with a lot of guys on the team,” White said. “You’d think I’d known them for years. When I’m there, I’m there for them.

In training camp, White suffered a sprained ankle. He tried to make it work in Week 1 against New Mexico, but his Maine debut was cut short. On Saturday, White played all four quarters and caught five passes for 57 yards – and he’s looking to build on that performance, as he looks to the rest of the year.

“There were a lot of things I could have done better, we could have done better as a team,” he said of Saturday’s game. “We have to keep taking the next step, and I know we will. I have no doubt in my mind that we will.

Denise W. Whigham