Hermon senior offensive lineman Jaykob Dow has closed his recruitment and will be attending the University of Maine in the fall with a preferred walk-on spot on the football team.
Dow said the Black Bears’ staff and players helped him feel included, which helped his decision.
“They’re super supportive and they were showing a lot of interest and that was really good,” Dow said. “They think I will be a really key player when I get there and develop. I had the support from all the coaches that I wouldn’t just be another player on the team.”
Dow was an important piece of the Hawks’ season this fall on both the offensive and defensive lines as Hermon made it to the Class C North regional final before losing to Medomak Valley.
Patrick Kugler, UMaine’s offensive line coach under head coach Jordan Stevens, was a big factor in Dow’s commitment.
“He says he coaches his best player and his worst player the same and that’s really good to hear,” Dow said of Kugler.
After his freshman year of junior varsity football, Dow quit the football team. He had visions of becoming a basketball player, but heading into his junior season was talked into playing football again.
Still, Dow didn’t think he’d ever play for the Black Bears.
“I used to doubt myself a lot and I never thought it was possible,” Dow said. “It was always a dream of mine but I never thought it was possible until I talked to coaches and I said, ‘Oh, I can do this.’ That boosted my confidence a lot.”
Dow said talking to UMaine lineman Jack Boutaugh from Leavitt helped him make his decision, as well.
As part of UMaine’s recruitment of Dow, coaches and recruits went to dinner and then went bowling.
The pressure of making a decision is now off of Dow and he’s excited to join the team.
“Since it’s so close to home I’ll have all my family able to go to games,” Dow said. “It’s like a weight lifted off my shoulders with the decision being made. I am really happy about it but it’s a little nerve-wracking going from a small Class C school to one of the best conferences in [Football Bowl Subdivision] football.”