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VANCOUVER – In the ramp-up to Week One in the NCAA, the trustees of the Jon Cornish Trophy have released their watchlist in the race for the top Canadian player in the NCAA in the 2022 season.

Over 200 Canadian players are on the rosters of NCAA Division I teams this season, with many more throughout D2 and D3 schools. Defensive linemen and ends lead the watch list with four players recognized, followed by three offensive linemen, three linebackers, two running backs, two defensive backs, and one quarterback and tight end. Three NCAA teams lead the count with two players on the list; Penn State, Illinois, and Syracuse.

Damien Alford               WR       (6’6”/211, So.)    Syracuse/Montreal, QC

Isaiah Bagnah                  LB          (6’4”/225, LB)     Boise State/Lethbridge, AB

Francis Bemiy                DL        (6’4”/270, Sr.)   Southern Utah/Montreal, QC

Matthew Bergeron         OL         (6’5”/322, Jr.)     Syracuse/Victoriaville, QC

Chase Brown                  RB        (5’11”/205, Jr.)   Illinois/London, ON

Sydney Brown                 DB         (6’0”/205, Sr.)     Illinois/London, ON

Geoffrey Cantin-Arku   LB          (6’4”/220, Jr.)    Memphis/Levis, QC

Kyle Hergel                       OL         (6’2”/300, Jr.)     Texas State/Toronto, ON

Theo Johnson                  TE        (6’6”/260, So.)    Penn State/Windsor, ON

Nick Mardner                   WR        (6’6”/215, Sr.)    Cincinnati/Mississauga, ON

Akheem Mesidor            DL         (6’3”/280, Jr.)     Miami (FL)/Ottawa, ON

Fabrice Mukendi            RB         (5’9”/195, So.)    Bryant/Ottawa, ON

Tavius Robinson             DE         (6’6”/265, Sr.)     Ole Miss/Guelph, ON

Kurtis Rourke                   QB         (6’3”/216, Jr.)      Ohio/Oakville, ON

Paris Shand                      DL         (6’5”/290, So.)    Arizona/Toronto, ON

Sidy Sow                            OL         (6’5”/326, Sr.)     Eastern Michigan/Bromont, QC

Jonathan Sutherland   LB          (5’11”/211, Sr.)    Penn State/Ottawa, ON

Jared Wayne                    WR        (6’3”/210, Sr.)      Pitt/Peterborough, ON

Twelve of the 18 players on the watchlist hail from Ontario, five have hometowns in Quebec, and one is from Alberta.

The winner of the Jon Cornish Trophy stands to join some distinguished company winners, including former Ohio quarterback and current BC Lions phenom Nathan Rourke (2017 and 2018), NCAA rushing champion and current Carolina Panther running back Chuba Hubbard (2019, Oklahoma State), and national champion and Houston Texan draft pick John Metchie III (2020 and 2021, Alabama).

This year’s award will be presented on TSN during the final episode of Krown Gridiron Nation in December. Fans can track the weekly progress of Canadians in the NCAA each week Krown Gridiron Nation on TSN starting Wednesday, September 7.

The Cornish Trophy trustees are also proud to debut a new logo for the award. The logo emulates the pattern of a maple leaf and star united by a football. The design is like the one used on the actual trophy, which is currently on display at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton, Ontario.

ABOUT THE CORNISH TROPHY: The Jon Cornish Trophy is awarded annually to the Canadian student-athlete who has been the most outstanding player in NCAA Football. It is awarded by a panel of trustees responsible for the award. The trophy is named after Jon Cornish, a former high school football player from British Columbia who was a college standout running back at the University of Kansas. Cornish later went on to win three Most Outstanding Canadian awards and a 2013 Most Outstanding Player award in the CFL as a member of the Calgary Stampeders. His 2013 season was capped off by winning the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete. The award has been presented since 2017. The trophy is presented at and in conjunction with the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton, Ontario, on an annual basis and is on permanent display there.