Maine pass rusher Deshawn Stevens granted medical redshirt, deferred to 2022 CFL draft

Photo courtesy: Maine Athletics

A top Canadian football prospect has received an extra year of NCAA eligibility.

Maine linebacker Deshawn Stevens was recently granted a medical redshirt after missing almost the entire 2019 season with a torn Achilles. This has automatically deferred his CFL draft year from 2021 to 2022.

Stevens was dominant with the Black Bears in 2018, recording 120 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss, nine sacks, two forced fumbles, and one interception in 14 games. He was named the team’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player for his efforts.

Repeating his redshirt junior season doesn’t rule out the possibility that Stevens could be available to CFL teams in 2021. If he chooses to declare early for the NFL draft, the Toronto native will automatically be added to next year’s CFL draft list.

Time will tell if Stevens declares for 2021 or waits for 2022; it will depend on the status of his recovery, his performance on the field, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

CFL teams are keeping close tabs on the potential ratio-breaking CFL defensive end. Stevens projects as a first-round pick capable of contributing heavily on defence and special teams.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.