Alabama receiver John Metchie III wins second consecutive Jon Cornish Trophy as top Canadian in NCAA football

Courtesy: AP Photo/Butch Dill

For the second time in five seasons, there is a back-to-back winner of the Jon Cornish Trophy — and this time it’s unanimous.

Brampton, Ontario’s John Metchie III took home the award given to the top Canadian in NCAA football for a second straight season, earning every first place vote from a panel comprised of media across Canada. Metchie joins former Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke (2017, 2018) as a two-time award winner, while becoming the first ever unanimous selection.

Last year’s winner of the Cornish Trophy followed up his breakout campaign with an even better 2021. Metchie started 13 games for the University of Alabama, garnering second-team All-SEC honors with a team-high 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns, before suffering a torn ACL in the conference title game and missing the team’s playoff run.

He piled up four 100+ yard receiving games along the way; versus Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee, and Mississippi State.

“It feels great. It’s always great to be recognized by your country and your peers,” Metchie
said. “Just like last year, this is an honour I share with my family.”

Eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft, Metchie says he’s ahead of schedule in his knee
rehabilitation.

“I definitely have a history of facing adversity both on the field and off of it, and this isn’t
anything different,” Metchie said during his virtual acceptance. “Recovery-wise, my knee has been doing really well, and I’m ahead of schedule. No speed bumps over the last four months, and I’ve been running for over a month now.”

Metchie was born in Taiwan and lived in Ghana before moving to Canada at the age of six.
In Ontario, he started his football path, then shifted stateside to play high school football in
Hagerstown, Maryland, and post-secondary at the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey.

The runner-up for the trophy is University of Illinois running back Chase Brown. After a slow start, the London, Ontario native caught fire and led Illinois with 170 carries for 1,005 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns, and 14 receptions for 142 receiving yards in 2021. He finished third in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game (100.5), fifth in the Big Ten, and 27th in the nation in rushing yards per carry (5.9). Highlights included a 257-yard day against Charlotte and a 223-yard outing in an upset at Penn State.

Other finalists included Penn State outside linebacker Jesse Luketa, Hawaii wide receiver Nick Mardner, and Pitt wide receiver Jared Wayne. Ontario natives dominated the voting as this was the first time all five finalists hailed from a single province.

Awarded annually since 2017, the Jon Cornish Trophy is presented by Football Canada in conjunction with the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, where the trophy is on permanent display. The patrons have awarded the Cornish Trophy presentations before the
CFL and NFL Drafts, however in 2022, the upcoming trophy will be awarded in December.

WINNERS:

2017-18 — Nathan Rourke — So./QB — Ohio Bobcats/Oakville, Ont.

2018-19 — Nathan Rourke — Jr./QB — Ohio Bobcats/Oakville, Ont.

2019-20 — Chuba Hubbard — So./RB — Oklahoma State Cowboys/Sherwood Park, Alta.

2020-21 — John Metchie III — So./REC — Alabama Crimson Tide/Brampton, Ont.

2021-22 — John Metchie III — Jr./REC — Alabama Crimson Tide/Brampton, Ont.