TORONTO — Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian at the 2012 Gibson’s Finest Player Awards on Thursday night.
Cornish’s first Most Outstanding Canadian Award arrives after he ran for 1,457 yards this season as he broke Normie Kwong’s 56-year-old single-season rushing record for Canadians.
“You touch too many lives,” said Cornish. “And too many lives have touched my own, and it’s really just a matter of interacting with the right people, and I think I was really given the opportunity to have a great head coach in high school, great coach in university, and then a great coach up here in the CFL.”
The total also allowed him to win the 2012 CFL rushing title by 180 yards over his closest pursuer, Roughriders tailback Kory Sheets.
The New Westminster, B.C. native became the eighth Stamp to win a rushing crown as he joins a group that includes Earl Lunsford (1961), Lovell Coleman (1963, 1964), Hugh McKinnis (1970), Willie Burden (1975), James Sykes (1980, 1981), Gary Allen (1986) and Joffrey Reynolds (2008, 2009).
Cornish’s rushing total this past season was the best in the CFL since 2009, the second-best since 2006 and the seventh-best single-season total in Stampeders’ franchise history.
“When I started out, I didn’t really know what the best Canadian meant,” said Cornish. “But since I’ve been in the league so long, I’ve seen the quality of Canadian talent in this league. So I think that makes this award more special to me.”
He shared the league lead with 11 rushing touchdowns and was also a threat in the passing game as he hauled in 38 catches for 338 yards and two scores.
“It’s certainly a humbling experience, to have my name mentioned beside Dave Sapunjis, and I didn’t get the MOP but Tony Gabriel, those are huge names and for this to be the 100th award, it’s definitely a humbling experience.”