Saskatchewan Huskies’ quarterback Mason Nyhus named 2022 Canada West Player of the Year

Photo courtesy: Canada West

Saskatchewan Huskies’ quarterback Mason Nyhus has been named the Canada West Player of the Year for the 2022 season.

The fifth-year quarterback led his team to a 7-1 record, finishing atop the conference standings. He completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 2,759 yards (352 per game) with 18 touchdowns and three interceptions. He finished first in all of U Sports in completions, pass attempts, passing yardage, and second in touchdown passes.

“I am so proud of Mason and what he has accomplished throughout his career with the Huskies,” head coach Scott Flory said in a statement. “He is a phenomenal leader and embodies all we strive to achieve here at Huskie football. He is an outstanding young man on and off the field.”

Nyhus’ single-season passing total ranks first all-time for the Huskies and fifth all-time in Canada West. He also ranks top 20 all-time in Canada West in career passing yards, completions, completion percentage, and touchdown passes.

The Huskies advanced to the Hardy Cup this past week with a 37-9 win over the Manitoba Bisons in the Canada West Semi-Final. Nyhus completed 16-of-28 pass attempts for 153 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the victory, fighting through miserable weather conditions.

Also honoured on Thursday was UBC offensive tackle Theo Benedet, who was named the conference’s Outstanding Lineman, and Regina linebacker Ryder Varga, who took home the Outstanding Defensive Player Award.

Benedet was a unanimous selection as a Canada West All-Star as the key piece of the Thunderbirds’ conference-leading ground game. The North Vancouver product helped pave the way for fellow all-star Isaiah Knight and backups Dane Kapler and Lucas Mastrodomenico to rush for 1,260 combined yards and propel the team to the Hardy Cup final.

The third-year player went into the season ranked eighth on the CFL Draft prospect list, the highest of any U SPORTS athlete.

Varga led the tough defence of the Regina Rams with 38.5 tackles, tying a school record by forcing three fumbles while also registering 6.5 tackles for loss. The fourth-year player showed he could really do it all by taking down opposing quarterbacks twice, grabbing an interception, recovering a fumble and blocking both a pass and attempted kick.

A two-time Canada West all-star and a three-time Academic All-Canadian, Varga was selected 29th overall in the third round of the 2022 CFL Draft before opting to return to school.

A pair of Saskatchewan Huskies took home the conference’s remaining two major player awards, with offensive tackle Jack Warrack getting the nod as rookie of the year and running back Ryker Frank receiving the prestigious Community Service Award. Regina’s Mark McConkey was named Coach of the Year, while Manitoba offensive coordinator Vaughan Mitchell was the top volunteer assistant.

Calgary Dinos’ receiver Tyson Philpot was named Canada West’s Player of the Year in 2021 and went on to be a first-round pick of the Montreal Alouettes. He was named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Rookie after making 39 receptions for 459 yards and two touchdowns along with 511 return yards this season in the CFL.

All players receiving Canada West conference honours will now be in contention for the equivalent national award.