The University of Maine increased its presence in the Canadian Football League by two on Tuesday night.
Offensive lineman Liam Dobson and linebacker Deshawn Stevens were both selected the first round of the CFL draft.
Dobson was picked third overall by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, while Stevens went to the Ottawa Redblacks with the sixth choice.
“”We are extremely proud of the selections of @Dags647 and @liamdobson2123 in the top six of this year’s #CFLDraft,” UMaine coach Nick Charlton said on the Maine Football Twitter feed. “Recruited and developed here in Orono, these two student-athletes show what can be accomplished at the University of Maine.” – @Coach_Charlton
Stevens, a Toronto native, recently completed his fifth year with the Black Bears. The two-year captain could become the third member of the Redblacks from UMaine as former stars Sherrod Baltimore and Christophe Mulumba-Tshimanga are on their roster.
The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Stevens was a two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association selection for the Black Bears. He played 29 career games and racked up 211 tackles with 21.5 tackles for a loss, including 11.5 sacks. He also made three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and one interception.
Stevens, who averaged 7.3 tackles per game with UMaine, enjoyed his best season in 2018. He started all 14 games while helping lead the Black Bears to the CAA championship and a run to the Football Championship Subdivision national semifinals.
Stevens registered 120 tackles to go along with 17.0 tackles for loss, 9.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, two pass breakups and an interception. He was named to the All-CAA Second Team and earned a spot on the FCS HERO Sports Sophomore All-America First Team.
This spring, Stevens led the Black Bears with 36 tackles in four games and ranked second among CAA leaders with 9.0 tackles per game.
Former UMaine wide receiver Earnest Edwards signed earlier this year with the Edmonton Eskimos.
Dobson, a STATS Football Championship Subdivision third-team All-American in 2019, left UMaine last December to pursue another opportunity as a graduate transfer. The Ottawa native attended Football Bowl Subdivision Texas State, but did not appear in any games as it did not have a spring season.
Dobson, a 6-3, 340-pound tackle, was a first-team All-CAA pick in 2019 and earned HERO Sports third-team preseason All-America recognition last fall.