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Former KU great Jon Cornish named CFL's Most Outstanding Player

Former Jayhawk Jon Cornish (center) poses with two of his Calgary Stampeder teammates Thursday night after hauling in the CFL's Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Canadian awards following another stellar season in which he recorded the fourth highest single-season rushing total in CFL history. (Photo courtesy of the @CFL Twitter account)

Former Jayhawk Jon Cornish (center) poses with two of his Calgary Stampeder teammates Thursday night after hauling in the CFL's Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Canadian awards following another stellar season in which he recorded the fourth highest single-season rushing total in CFL history. (Photo courtesy of the @CFL Twitter account) by Matt Tait

Former Kansas University running back Jon Cornish, the school's single season rushing leader (1,457 yards in 2006), continues to add to his case as the most decorated professional football player.

Cornish, a native of Canada and standout running back with the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders, on Thursday night won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Canadian awards following yet another stellar season.

Cornish is the first Canadian to win the MOP award since Tony Gabriel in 1978. Russ Jackson, who earned the honor in 1963, 1966 and 1969, is the only other Canadian to be named the league’s top player.

Cornish won his second consecutive rushing title this past season as he ran for 1,813 yards, the fourth-highest total in CFL history. He also led the league and set a new franchise record with 2,157 yards from scrimmage. Cornish led all running backs with an average of 7.0 yards per carry and was tops in the CFL this season with 14 touchdowns. His spectacular season featured nine 100-yard games — including five in a row to tie a franchise record — and a career-best 208-yard effort on Oct. 5 against Winnipeg. He won nine weekly CFL awards in 2013 as well as four monthly honors.

Before breaking his own CFL record this season, Cornish, who hails from Westminster, British Columbia and played at KU from 2002-06, set a CFL record by rushing for the exact totals — 1,457 yards on 258 carries – that he tallied to set the KU single season record.

Cornish ranks 10th on KU's career rushing list with 2,245 yards and third on KU's all-time yards-per carry list at 5.9, just 0.6 yards behind co-leaders Gale Sayers and Laverne Smith.

Cornish accepted the awards at a CFL banquet on Thursday night with his mother and girlfriend present.

This morning, he took to Twitter to reinforce his appreciation.

He wrote: “Took a bit of time to name every Stampeder offensive linemen but I wouldn't be MOP+MOC without my favorite big men. Thank you, everyone!”

Other recent Cornish updates from KUsports.com:
Former KU RB Cornish rushes to top of CFL: (July 2012)

Former KU football star Jon Cornish sets CFL record: (November 2012)

Comments

Chuck Woodling 1 year ago

Without doubt, Cornish is the best ex-Jayhawk to play in Canada since Willie Pless and a sure bet to follow Pless into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Brett McCabe 1 year ago

We own the CFL! Best back and best backer!

Jim Jackson 1 year ago

Cornish was awesome at his time at KU. I recall he did not get much playing time early in his career but what a great find by Mangino's staff.

Wonder why Cornish never tried for the NFL?

Matt Tait 1 year ago

I think a lot of people thought he was undersized and lacked NFL speed. I always thought that was crazy because, although he wasn't blazing fast and wasn't a monster, he was a natural born runner. I think he would've made an impact on a team if he had been given a true shot.

That said, I know it always appealed to him to go home to Canada to play in the CFL, so I think knowing that opportunity existed made him less likely to waste his time grinding for a one-in-a-million shot in the NFL.

Worked out great for him and he's representing KU and himself incredibly well. Heck of a player.

Bryan Mohr 1 year ago

My favorite Cornish moment was when he went 72 yards for a TD against Nebraska, which put KU up 24-15 late in the 3rd. The student section went ballistic. KU under coach Mangino went on to snap the 36 game losing streak to Nebraska by the score 40-15.

Cornish and Mangino had their struggles. Mangino felt Cornish had some attitude problems about not thinking "team". Cornish felt he should be getting the ball more. Both sides were probably correct.

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