Brewer senior Jaxon Gross (left) stands with his brother, David, at a University of Maine football game. Jaxon will join David in the fall on the UMaine football team. Credit: Courtesy photo

Jaxon Gross went to his first University of Maine football game with his brother David when Jaxon was 6 years old and David was 9. Ever since, they’ve both been hooked on Black Bears football.

Next fall, the brothers from Orland will play together on Morse Field at UMaine.

Jaxon Gross signed his letter of intent on Tuesday to join his brother on the Black Bears football team. David, an offensive lineman, joined the team in 2020.

It will be the first time the brothers have played on the same field together since Jaxon Gross’s freshman year at Bucksport, which he said was “the most fun season” he’s had.

“Ever since I was 6 years old it has been my goal to represent my home state as a Black Bear,” Jaxon Gross said. “We’ve been going to games since I can remember.”

UMaine endured a disappointing 2-9 this past season under first-year head coach Jordan Stevens. It was just the second time in school history that the program lost nine games in a single season.

David Gross appeared in 10 games for the Black Bears in the 2022 season.

Jaxon Gross transferred to Brewer High School after his junior year, where the Witches football team went 3-5. UMaine recruited Gross throughout high school and after his senior season Gross met with Stevens. Soon after, UMaine offered the Brewer senior a preferred walk-on position during his official visit to Orono, which Gross accepted on the spot.

Gross said he isn’t joining the team with a specific position in mind.

“Stevens told me there is no guaranteed position I’m getting recruited for because he can see me in any spot he needs me on the field,” Gross said. “It sounds amazing to me because every picture I see with recruits is only one side of the ball, so I am put down as offense and defense.”

In addition to his talents on the football field, the 6-foot-1, 225-pound Gross won the state 220-pound Class B state wrestling title during his junior year at Bucksport.

Gross said it’s “insane” that he gets to play on the same football team as his brother, David. David Gross said that he and his brother take a lot of pride in playing for UMaine.

David Gross of Bucksport High School (right) talks with teammate and younger brother Jaxon Gross during a game in 2019. Gross, a senior lineman, plans to continue his career at the University of Maine. Credit: Courtesy of Jason Gendron

“It’s something we’ve talked about forever,” David Gross said. “It’s one of those things we always thought was going to happen. I remember growing up we’d go to all their football camps and coach [Jack] Cosgrove would talk to us.”

Jack Cosgrove, the former UMaine football coach, recruited the brothers’ father, who eventually decided to play for the University of New Hampshire. David Gross said that Cosgrove told the boys when they were children that he wouldn’t let them go anywhere else to play football.  

“Cosgrove always said there was no way that us boys would get out of his grasp,” David Gross said. “I always knew I’d come to school here so that’s why it wasn’t a surprise when [Jaxon] came here.”

David Gross said he’s “very proud” of Jaxon for getting through the 2020 season that was virtually wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic, transferring schools, and still making it to UMaine.

“I can’t tell you what it means to rep the home state on our chest,” David Gross said. “To see him join and rep the state of Maine is really special. We also have a baby sister now so she can see us play and also our family is so close and can see us.”

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Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson is a native of Auburn, Maine, and graduate of Husson University and Edward Little High School. He enjoys sports, going on runs and video games.