Canadian players have been valuable contributors to the University of Maine’s football program in recent years, headlined by Football Championship Subdivision All-America third-team selections Liam Dobson and Deshawn Stevens.
There are six other Candians on the Black Bears’ roster and now they have added another one for the 2021 season.
Darius Bell, a 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive lineman from Hamilton, Ontario, is headed to UMaine this fall after playing for Clearwater Academy International in Clearwater, Florida.
Bell previously played for St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, where he was a first-team All-Canadian selection and a two-time all-conference, first-team pick.
He also was a two-time team Most Valuable Player in track and field.
Bell will join a UMaine offensive line that features a combination of youth and experience.
UMaine went 2-2 during its abbreviated spring schedule and the offense averaged 22.5 points and 332.3 yards per game. That included 205.75 passing yards and 126.5 rushing yards.
Guard Shawn Page was a graduate student and tackle Gunnar Docos was a senior. The only other interior lineman who wasn’t a freshman or a sophomore was junior center Michael Gerace.
Tackles Matthias Staalsoe and Kevin Jones were sophomores, tackle Max Lovblad and guards Zach Reed and Tyrie Francois were redshirt freshmen, and Bucksport’s David Gross, a first-year player, was the backup center.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring season did not count as a year of eligibility for the players under a blanket waiver provided by the NCAA.
“Darius is a great student-athlete with a tons of potential as a part of our offensive line room,” UMaine head coach Nick Charlton said.
“He’s a strong student and a physical player that we’re excited to welcome to Orono,” he said.