University of Maine football coach Jordan Stevens attends the first day of spring practice with his team on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at Morse Field at Alfond Stadium in Orono. Credit: Ronald Gillis | UMaine Athletics

With the departures of Devin Young and Andre Miller, the University of Maine’s football team lost two All-Colonial Athletic Association wide receivers who combined for 232 receptions, 3,147 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns in their careers.

Three of the players who will be expected to help fill that void are graduate student Zavier Scott, a University of Connecticut transfer; redshirt freshman Tyrese Baptiste; and freshman Rohan Jones, who joined the program at the outset of the second semester.

All three turned in solid performances in the 16th annual Jeff Cole Memorial Spring Football Game at Morse Field in Orono’s Alfond Stadium on Saturday. The game is named after the late former UMaine assistant football coach.

All three caught touchdown passes, and Scott also ran for a touchdown.

Scott averaged over 4 yards per carry in six attempts on Saturday.

He carried the ball 35 times for 119 yards last fall and also caught 11 passes for 114 yards. He scored three touchdowns.

Baptiste, who is from Everett, Massachusetts, had to be moved to defensive back in the fall due to a rash of injuries. He appeared in three games, making one tackle. He was also on special teams.

Jones is from Montreal.

First-year UMaine coach Jordan Stevens said the depth at the wide receiver position has gotten a “lot better” during the spring thanks to the trio.

“They’ve all elevated their games throughout the spring. Zavier can do a multiplicity of things for us,” Stevens said.

Baptiste was bothered by a hamstring pull earlier this spring but is healthy now.

“He has really been doing a nice job,” Stevens said. “He is very smooth. He is a natural ball-catcher. He is very good in and out of breaks. He can get himself open.”

Jones, according to Stevens, has a “physical presence to him because of his size.”

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Jones capped the scrimmage by out-leaping a defensive back to catch an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jack Kelley on the last play of the game, giving the offense a 21-13 win over the defense.

“We needed somebody to go up and get the ball, and I did what I had to do,” Jones said.

Jones is adapting to American football because its rules are different from Canadian football, which is played on a longer 110-yard field, compared with American football’s 100-yard field.

“I’m getting used to it. It’s nice to be playing American football for once,” he said.

Baptiste opened the scoring with a 33-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Joe Fagnano, who threw three touchdown passes.

After the game, Stevens presented him with a plaque for being the team’s Most Improved Offensive Player in the spring.

“I’m happy. I feel blessed because I had a hamstring pull and missed a lot of practice time. I lost my spot,” Baptiste said. “So I hit the playbook, spent time in the film room and improved. I did the little things right.”

Scott said all of the receivers are aware that they will all need to contribute to compensate for the loss of Miller and Young.

“We’re all looking to do our jobs and make sure we deliver. That’s our mindset,” he said.

He is looking to expand his running back, wide receiver and Wildcat quarterback roles.

“I want to be the most versatile player in the conference,” said Scott, who was recruited as a receiver by UConn only to have them switch him over to running back.

“But here I can do both so why not? I was a running back and receiver in high school. I’m used to it.”

Fagnano said all three are “extremely important playmakers,” and it is up to him to get the ball in their hands.

Fagnano also has some veteran wide receivers in graduate student Jacob Hennie and junior Michael Monios as well as junior Montigo Moss. Moss didn’t play Saturday due to injury.

Junior Jamie Lamson is another option. He had a 33-yard reception in the game.

Senior linebacker Brian Lee Jr. received an award for being the Most Improved Defensive Player and graduate student Xavier Mitchell claimed two honors: Most Improved Special Teams Player and the Fitness Award winner.

Fagnano, graduate student center Mike Gerace, senior tight end Shawn Bowman and senior linebacker Adrian Otero were named the team’s captains after the game.

Football Championship Subdivision team UMaine, 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association last fall, will open the season on the road against Football Bowl Subdivision team New Mexico on Sept. 3. New Mexico was 3-9 last season.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the dimensions of a Canadian football field.