The Cornish Trophy is in its’ third year. Last year we took a look at the nominees. Now we know who the candidates are for this year we can take a look at who they are.
What is the Cornish Trophy?
The nominees are selected by a panel of former NCAA players with a connection to Canada, scouting staff from CFL teams and media who cover college football from a Canadian perspective.
All evaluations pertain solely to performances from the last season alone. The Cornish Trophy itself is on permanent display at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton.
Why is it called that?
The trophy is named after Canadian RB Jon Cornish. Cornish had a successful college career with the Kansas Jayhawks. In 2006, he rushed for 1,457 yards, making him the all-time single-season rusher at Kansas. Cornish was the Big 12’s leader in all-purpose yards with an average of 137.6 yards per game and was first in rushing in the Big 12 Conference.
With the Calgary Stampeders from 2007-2015, he was a Western All-Star for four straight seasons from 2011 to 2014 and was a CFL All-Star three straight years from 2012 to 2014. He won the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian Award three times (2012, 2013, 2014), and was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2013.
Cornish Trophy Finalists 2020
The selection committee for the Jon Cornish Trophy selected five finalists for the top Canadian in NCAA Football in the 2019-20 season. Let’s take a look at who they are.
Nathan Rourke: Quarterback
In 2019, Rourke was named to the All-MAC First Team. He was also named to the Academic All-MAC Team, and also earned MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete recognition for the second year in a row.
Rourke finished his Bobcats career with a 24-13 record as a starting quarterback and engineered three-straight bowl victories.
Over 13 games in 2019 he went 200 of 328 passing (61%) for 2,820 yards, 20 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.
Chase Claypool: Wide Receiver
Over 13 games he was Notre Dame’s leading receiver with 66 catches for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Senior leaves Notre Dame with 150 career receptions – 7th all-time on a storied program.
Neville Gallimore: Defensive Line
Gallimore graduates as a Senior following a successful college career with the Oklahoma Sooners.
Gallimore started all 14 games at defensive tackle making 30 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks, while forcing two fumbles. The media made him a first-team All-Big 12 selection.
NFL Draft stock is high for Gallimore and expectations suggests a potential lower first or second round selection.
Chuba Hubbard: Running Back
Our first non Senior selection, Sophomore Chuba Hubbard is in rare company. The Oklahoma State running back led the FBS in rushing with 2,094 yards, (161.1 yards per game). Not only is that monster season 16th in FBS history and third in Big 12 Conference history. It also puts him second only to fellow Cowboy Barry Sanders’ legendary Heisman Trophy season of 1988.
Hubbard was a unanimous All-American, the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award presented to the nation’s top running back. Hubbard finished eighth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.
Ogbongbemiga, the final selection, is a teammate of Hubbard’s at Oklahoma State. The Junior Linebacker is a three-time first team Big 12 academic team selection, including the 2019 season.
A defensive Captain, Ogbongbemiga won the Leslie O’Neal Award as Oklahoma State’s Defensive MVP. He was a second second-team All-Big 12 selection, and honoured as a first-team academic All-Big 12 player.
Recorded 100 tackles and had 15.5 tackles for loss. He also led the team with 5.0 sacks. Rose to the occasion by setting a career high with 12 tackles against Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl and added a sack and a fumble recovery.
So that’s the final five. It will be interesting to see who has their name etched on the trophy this time around.
Banner image from @Krown Countdown U