Canadian linebacker Deshawn Stevens has committed to West Virginia University.
Stevens entered the NCAA transfer portal in April just prior to the 2021 CFL Draft. The Ottawa Redblacks selected him in the first round, sixth overall during the pick-fest.
The University of Maine graduate wanted to take advantage of the eligibility extension due to COVID-19 and seek out a power five conference program. That’s exactly where Stevens has landed with the Mountaineers in the Big 12.
Stevens was a dominant force for 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.
The Toronto native’s 2019 season was brought to a crashing halt due to an Achilles injury, but he rebounded in a big way in 2020, racking up 36 tackles while being named first team All-Conference in the Colonial Athletic Association over the course of his four game fall season.
The six-foot-two, 255-pounder played mostly middle linebacker for Maine, but it remains to be seen where West Virginia will play Stevens. Thanks to a medical redshirt and new coronavirus eligibility rules, Stevens will be able to play two seasons with his new team should he so choose.
Stevens new school will be viewed as a potential opportunity to improve his NFL Draft stock and a chance to shake the small school label.