A transfer student from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is the latest addition to the University of Maine football team's defensive line. Credit: Courtesy of Peter Buehner

The University of Maine’s football team has added a transfer from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to try to shore up its defensive line.

New Orleans native Xavier Mitchell appeared in 27 career games over four seasons at Arkansas-Pine Bluff and posted 119 tackles including 22.5 for loss and 11 sacks.

He will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning this fall.

Like the University of Maine, Arkansas-Pine Bluff is a Football Championship Subdivision school.

The Golden Lions played five games during their COVID-abbreviated spring schedule and went 4-1, including a 40-33 loss to Alabama A&M in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game. They had gone 4-0 in winning the Western Division.

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Mitchell had 18 tackles including four for loss and three sacks. He had been a preseason pick on Phil Steele’s All-SWAC second team.

In 2019, Mitchell had 48 tackles, seventh most on the team, and shared the team lead in sacks with five. He was third on the team in tackles for loss with 10.

The Black Bears’ defensive front struggled to replace All-Colonial Athletic Association first-team selection Kayon Whitaker and third-teamer Charles Mitchell in its four-game spring season. Alejandro Oregon was another staple in the defensive line who had to be replaced.

The Black Bears surrendered an average of 212.3 rushing yards per game and had only two sacks while going 2-2.

“Xavier is a great addition to our Black Bear family who immediately felt like a great fit to our program,” UMaine head coach Nick Charlton said. “He is an excellent student, an all-conference player and an authentic person.”

UMaine is in the midst of July workouts and will start its training camp on Aug. 3. The Black Bears will host Delaware in their season opener on Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.

Delaware is the nation’s No. 6-ranked team in the HERO Sports FCS preseason poll.