Around U Sports: Laval wins 57th Vanier Cup, All-Canadian teams unveiled

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The 57th Vanier Cup took place this past weekend with the Laval Rouge et Or defeating the Saskatchewan Huskies by a score of 30-24. For a full recap of the game, click here.

The game marked the third meeting between the two teams in Vanier Cup history, all of which have been won by the Rouge et Or. This was Laval’s first Vanier Cup victory since 2018 and eleventh overall, putting them three championships ahead of second-place Western for most all-time.

Laval receiver Kevin Mital took home the most prestigious individual award in all of U Sports this past week when he was awarded the Hec Crighton Trophy, becoming the first receiver to win it since Andy Fantuz in 2005. He made 58 catches for 751 yards and 12 touchdowns in eight games during the regular season, leading the country in all three categories. His touchdown mark also tied the RSEQ conference record shared by Rob Harrod and Alexander Fox.

“He is a generational player. I hope the fans will enjoy seeing him play because I don’t think he’s going to play at this level for long. He dominated everywhere he went,” Laval head coach Glen Constantin said in a statement. “I knew he was going to dominate with us, but it’s the ease with which he does it. Sometimes it’s almost disconcerting how easy it looks for him.”

The full list of year-end U Sports award winners can be found below accompanied by this year’s first and second-team All-Canadians.

Hec Crighton Trophy — Kevin Mital, Laval
J. P. Metras Trophy — Theo Benedet, UBC
Presidents’ Trophy — Nicky Farinaccio, Montreal
Peter Gorman Trophy — Eloa Latendresse-Regimbald, McGill
Russ Jackson Award — Duncan Patterson, Saint Mary’s
Frank Tindall Trophy — Gary Waterman, St. FX

First-team All-Canadians

QB Arnaud Desjardins — Laval
RB Keon Edwards — Western
RB Malcolm Bussey — St. FX
REC Kevin Mital — Laval
REC Jeremy Murphy — Concordia
REC Savaughn Magnaye-Jones — Western
REC Daniel Perry — Saskatchewan
T Theo Benedet — UBC
T Nathan Dumoulin-Duguay — Laval
G Nicolas Guay — Laval
G Phillip Grohovac — Western
C Elliot Beamer — Western

DT Tanner Schmekel — Regina
DT Jean-William Rouleau — Laval
DE Anthony Bennett — Regina
DE Silas Hubert — Queen’s
LB Nicky Farinaccio — Montreal
LB Ryder Varga — Regina
LB James Peter — Ottawa
CB Benjamin Labrosse — McGill
CB Siriman Harrison Bagayoga — Guelph
DB Ashton Miller-Melancon — Queen’s
DB Cristophe Beaulieu — Laval
S Daniel Valente — Western

K Tyler Mullan — Queen’s
P Chris MacLean — Calgary
RET Alfred Olay — York

Second-team All-Canadians

QB Mason Nyhus — Saskatchewan
RB Isaiah Knight — UBC
RB J-P Cimankinda — Ottawa
REC AK Gassama — Manitoba
REC Darius Simmons — McGill
REC Richard Burton — Queen’s
REC Ethan Jones — Wilfrid Laurier
T Zack Fry — Western
T Anthony Vandal — Sherbrooke
G Evan Floren — Queen’s
G Giovanni Manu — UBC
C Daniel Shin — Alberta

DT Darien Newell — Queen’s
DT Kyle Samson — UBC
DE Scott Murray — Guelph
DE Philippe Lemieux-Cardinal — Montreal
LB Emmanuel Aboagye-Gyan — Ottawa
LB Ryan Baker — UBC
LB Alec Poirier — Laval
CB Kevin Victome — Ottawa
CB Kaylyn St-Cyr — Montreal
DB Charlie Ringland — Saskatchewan
DB Rob Panabaker — Western
S Jaxon Ford — Regina

K David Solie — Saskatchewan
P Dawson Hodge — Wilfrid Laurier
RET Santino Sparanga — Concordia

This will be the final instalment of Around U Sports this year. I started this series back in August to take readers across the country each week and celebrate the highest level of amateur football in our country. Expect it to return in 2023 when the U Sports seasons gets underway. Until then, expect plenty of coverage of U Sports players as we approach the 2023 CFL Draft.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.