Illinois running back Chase Brown highlights 2022 Jon Cornish Trophy watch list

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Barry Reeger

In the ramp-up to Week One in the NCAA, the trustees of the Jon Cornish Trophy have released their watch list in the race to be the top Canadian player in the NCAA for 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 lead the watch list with four players recognized, followed by three offensive linemen, three linebackers, three wide receivers, 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.

2022 Cornish Trophy Watch List

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 as former winners include former Ohio quarterback and current B.C. Lions’ phenom Nathan Rourke (2017 and 2018), NCAA rushing champion and current Carolina Panthers’ running back Chuba Hubbard (2019, Oklahoma State), and national champion and Houston Texans’ 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.

Photo courtesy: Jon Cornish Trophy

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.