Jon Bell, a wide receiver and defensive back who helped Skowhegan Area High School capture the 2017 Class B North championship, will join the University of Maine football program as a preferred walk-on next summer.
That designation essentially means Bell is guaranteed a spot on the roster despite the fact he will not receive an athletic scholarship.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Bell was named All-Pine Tree Conference first team on offense and second team on defense after helping coach Ryan Libby’s Indians compile a 7-4 record and reach the state final for the first time since 2008, when Skowhegan was in Class A.
Bell also was an All-USA Maine second-team choice on offense after catching 13 touchdown passes this fall.
He was at his best during the postseason, catching two touchdown passes and making two interceptions and a touchdown-saving tackle in Skowhegan’s come-from-behind 18-13 PTC semifinal victory over Brewer.
Bell had six catches for 143 yards— including a 70-yard catch and run for a touchdown — the following weekend as the Indians defeated Lawrence of Fairfield 23-0 in the conference championship game.
He added a 99-yard kickoff return during Skowhegan’s 63-20 loss to Marshwood of South Berwick in the Class B state final.
Bell is also a standout wrestler at Skowhegan and last week captured the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship at 170 pounds. He was the top seed for that event and will take a 26-2 overall record into this weekend’s Class A North regional tournament.
Bell is one of two Maine high school players set to join the UMaine football program, along with quarterback Grant Hartley of Edward Little High School in Auburn.
Follow BDN Maine Sports on Facebook for the latest in Maine high school and college sports.