Orange football helmet helped Canadian receiver find his way to UMaine

When University of Maine wide receiver Michael Monios was in eighth grade, he attended Boston College summer football camp, where current UMaine head coach Nick Charlton worked as an assistant to the ‘era.

One thing stood out immediately at Monios: he wore an orange helmet. And he impressed Charlton.

The native of Montreal, Que. Returned to the same BC camp over the following years and then attended Choate Rosemary Hall, one of New England’s most prestigious prep schools. When Charlton recruited Monios, their established relationship made the decision easy.

After seeing limited play the previous two seasons, Monios made his presence known in the season-opener 34-24 loss to No.5 Delaware last Thursday as he made four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown and blocked a punt which was picked up by Montigo Moss and came back for a touchdown. Charlton said Monios will only continue to improve as he gets stronger.

“He has very good feet and he knows how to open up. Now it’s about building your body, ”Charlton said.

Monios appeared in four games in 2019, mostly in special teams. He didn’t lose a year of eligibility because NCAA rules allow freshmen to play four games without losing a year of eligibility.

In last spring’s abridged four-game season, he was third on the team in receptions with eight and fourth in receiving yards at 87.

“He has great hands and is a very good road runner,” said Chalton. “And he’s a tireless worker on and off the pitch.”

Monios, who is 5-10 and 185 pounds, said he studied under-sized NFL receivers Antonio Brown (5-10) and Wes Welker (5-9) to see what made them so successful.

He said he “focused on their technique” and how they fit into specific blankets.

“I’m not the biggest guy or the fastest guy so I have to watch a lot of movies,” Monios said. “I feel like I’ve come a long way. But I must continue to work on my technique.

Growing up in Canada, Monios played hockey and football. But he decided to give up a hockey career in favor of football and attended Choate Rosemary Hall, where he had to adapt to American football, which has different rules than Canadian football.

His father, Tom, played in the Canadian Football League.

Canadian football pitches are longer and wider, you have three tries to take a first down rather than four, and Canadian football rules allow multiple players to be on the move when the ball is broken instead of just one.

“It was really hard to grasp at the start,” said Monios.

Monios has adapted and had an exceptional career for one of New England’s top preparatory study programs.

Now Monios is enjoying life in Orono, calling it his ‘second home’.

He was encouraged by the team’s performance against Delaware and looks forward to Saturday’s 4 p.m. game against No.3 James Madison.

“We know we could have won the game. Delaware have a very good defense but we were able to pass the ball to them, ”said the finance major.

“We will be up to the challenge to James Madison. “

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