ORONO, Maine — Approximately one week before the University of Maine lost to the University of New Hampshire in their mutual opener in 2017, Drew Belcher began learning a new position.
He had played quarterback for three seasons at UMaine, but redshirt freshman Chris Ferguson won the starting job.
Head coach Joe Harasymiak and the staff decided to try Belcher as an H-back, a hybrid tight end/fullback.
Belcher accepted their decision. He responded with four catches for 67 yards against UNH, and finished the season with 17 receptions for 233 yards and two touchdowns.
The 6-foot-3 Belcher played at 235 pounds a year ago but has since added 15 pounds. He had a memorable game in the 35-7 win over New Hampshire last Thursday, leading all receivers with five catches (34 yards) and throwing a 52-yard touchdown pass to Jaquan Blair off a reverse.
“He is one of the best tight ends in this league,” UNH head coach Sean McDonnell said. “After being a quarterback for three years and moving to tight end is an unbelievably unselfish thing to do. I saw him keep getting better last year. He can catch, he can run and he can throw.”
Belcher downplayed his willingness to accept the positional reassignment.
“I just wanted to win football games. The coaches felt it was the best way to do it, so that’s what I did,” Belcher said.