University of Maine season opener against Delaware at Alfond Stadium. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

The University of Maine’s football team has landed a dual-threat quarterback who was the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year.

Ayden Pereira, an Auburn, New Hampshire, native who played for Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, signed a National Letter of Intent on Friday.

During his career at Central Catholic, the 6-foot, 190-pound Pereira threw for 5,551 yards and 68 touchdowns and rushed for 1,614 yards and 31 TDs.

He was the conference player of the year this past season when he threw for 2,823 yards and 34 TDs and ran for 790 yards and 14 TDs.

He led Central Catholic High to a 12-2 season and a berth in the Division I state championship game where it lost to Springfield Central 22-15.

“Ayden is a tremendous talent,” said new UMaine coach Jordan Stevens. “He has a strong arm and possesses the athletic ability to make defenders miss. He is a leader on his team and in his community.”  

UMaine starting quarterback Joe Fagnano will be a senior in the fall but will have two years of eligibility remaining. He missed seven games with a high ankle sprain.

Redshirt freshman Derek Robertson filled in admirably for him and picked up a lot of valuable experience.

Robertson completed 50.8 percent of his passes (121-for-238) for 1,505 yards and 12 touchdowns with four interceptions. Fagnano completed 60.2 percent of his passes (65-108) for 794 yards and six TDs. He was picked off twice.

Neither is a running threat, so Pereira would be a dynamic addition to the position.