American Football Database
Jon Cornish
File:Jon cornish stamps.jpg
No. 9     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-11-05) November 5, 1984 (age 37)
Place of birth: New Westminster, BC
Career information
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A

Jon Cornish (born November 5, 1984 in New Westminster, British Columbia) is a football running back who is currently the starting running back for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. Cornish was drafted 13th overall in the 2006 CFL Draft. He played college football at The University of Kansas.

While at Kansas, Cornish set the KU single season rushing record with 1,467 yards and was selected First Team All Big XII in his senior year. During his collegiate career, he was also selected Team Offensive MVP in both his junior year and senior year.

Professionally, after taking over starting duties from Calgary's all-time leading rusher Joffrey Reynolds midway through 2011, Cornish rushed for 611 yards in the final seven games of the season, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. In the Stampeders only 2011 playoff game versus the Edmonton Eskimos, he ran for 128 yards and a touchdown while averaging 9.2 yards per carry. Those eight games were enough to garner him the 2011 Calgary Booster Club Male Athlete of the Year award and a CFL West All-star selection.[1]

High school career

Cornish attended high school at the highly sports oriented St. Thomas More Collegiate (STMC) in Burnaby, where he participated actively in basketball, track & field and football. In football he rushed for 3,200 career yards and 49 touchdowns as a three-year letterwinner for Saint Thomas More High School. Cornish averaged 14.9 yards per carry while rushing for 2,136 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior. His single-game best was 336 yards and four touchdowns.

Cornish is also credited with 152 career tackles, including 89 his senior season and holds his school career record with 37 quarterback sacks, 21 of which he had while a junior. At the end of his senior year Cornish was selected the British Columbia Provincial Football Player of the Year in the year of its inception.

While at STMC, Cornish was on two Varsity AAA Provincial High School Football Championship teams.[2]

Collegiate career

Early collegiate years

Following his medical redshirt, Cornish saw very limited playing time rushing only 3 times for 8 yards in his first two years.

Junior year

Cornish played in all 12 games of his junior season and was awarded the John Hadl award for most valuable offensive player of the year on his college team despite not starting a single game. Cornish led his team in all rushing categories with 780 total yards, 9 rushing touchdowns and rushing yards per game and yards per carry with 65 and 5.8, respectively. His efforts in the classroom made him an Academic All-Big 12 second-team selection.[3]

Against Nebraska on his birthday, November 5, 2005, Cornish contributed a touchdown run of 72 yards to help seal Kansas' first victory over Nebraska in 38 years.[4]

Kansas' second Bowl game appearance under Coach Mangino, playing against the Houston Cougars Jon helped his team to their first bowl victory with 101 yards rushing. He also had two touchdown receptions for 13 and 30 yards.[5]

Following his junior season, Cornish was drafted in the Canadian Football League draft by the Calgary Stampeders.

Senior year

In his senior year he rushed for 1,457 yards, making him the all-time single season rusher at the University of Kansas.

He averaged 5.8 yards per carry, scored 8 rushing touchdowns, 1 passing touchdown, and had 8 games of 100 yards of rushing or more. Cornish was the Big 12's leader in all-purpose yards with an average of 137.6 yards per contest. Cornish finished the season as the 9th leading rusher in NCAA Division I-A football and the 1st in rushing in the Big 12 Conference. Cornish's efforts were enough to earn him First Team Big XII honors and his second John Hadl team Offensive MVP award. In addition, Cornish's 5.8 yards per carry is the highest single-season mark in school history by a back with more than 200 carries, higher than that of former Kansas greats Gale Sayers and John Riggins.[6]

Jon's career high rushing in a single game came on November 18, 2006, when he rushed for 201 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas State helping Kansas gain bowl eligibility for the second year in a row.

Professional career


After going undrafted by the NFL, Cornish forewent free agency and left for the CFL. The Calgary Stampeders had previously drafted him in 2006 with their the 13th overall selection in the 2006 CFL Draft.[7] He signed with the Stampeders on April 30, 2007, spending most of his time with the special teams unit. He went on to lead the team in special teams tackles with 21 in his first year.[8]


Cornish would see increased repetitions with the offense in 2008 backing up Joffrey Reynolds. Despite only having 30 carries on the season, Cornish made the most of his opportunities and ended the season with 254 yards rushing averaging 8.5 yards per carry. His first long run in the CFL was against Hamilton for 48 yards. In 2008, he also scored his first professional touchdown against his hometown BC Lions in the last game of the regular season.

He contributed to the Stampeders playoff efforts and was a part of the 2008 Grey Cup Championship Team.


In 2009, a preseason injury caused Cornish to miss 3 games. After he returned, Jon contributed primarily on special teams placing second in special teams tackles for the Stampeders at the end of the year.


In his fourth season in Calgary, Cornish established a number of career highs and earned the Stampeders’ nomination for the Canadian Football League’s Most Outstanding Canadian award.

His 7.3-yard average per rush was tops in the CFL among running backs, with at least 50 carries and he ran for a career-high 618 yards. He had three carries of at least 50 yards — a 52-yarder against Edmonton on Aug. 15, a 50-yard dash against Saskatchewan on July 24 and another 50-yarder against The Lions on Aug. 28. He also contributed as a receiver, making 14 catches for 226 yards and one touchdown for an average of 16.5 yards per catch, highest of all CFL running backs that year.[9]

On special teams, he made 12 tackles and also returned 12 kickoffs for 224 yards. Cornish twice earned top Canadian honours in the CFL player of the week awards during the 2010 season as he was recognized for his efforts in Week 4 and Week 9.[10]

During the playoff's Cornish was selected by CFL fans as the winner of the 2010 Reebok Rediscover campaign. In the final round of voting, Jon Cornish’s description of what had motivated him as a player prevailed over Roughrider Darian Durant’s narration of his defining moment as an athlete.[11]


Despite not making his first start of the season until Week 13, Cornish led the Stampeders in rushing, was first among all CFL running backs in rushing touchdowns, tied for the league lead in total touchdowns and earned West Division all-star recognition. After being installed as the starter, he ran for 611 yards and seven touchdowns in seven contests. The seven touchdowns were the most of any CFL player during that period and the 611 yards were second only to Toronto’s Cory Boyd.

For the season, he posted career highs in carries (119), rushing yards (863), rushing touchdowns (nine), catches (26), receiving yards (385) and receiving touchdowns (two). His 7.3-yard-per-carry average led all CFL players with at least 60 rushing attempts. His 11 total touchdowns tied him for the league lead and were the most by a Canadian Stampeders player since 1995. In addition to his excellent work on offence, Cornish was tied for second on the club with 13 special-teams tackles and returned eight kickoffs for 167 yards. Cornish recorded a pair of 100-yard rushing games during the regular season including a career-high 149-yard performance on Oct. 1 against Saskatchewan that resulted in him being named both the top offensive player and top Canadian in the CFL’s player-of-the-week awards. He also ran for 128 yards on Oct. 14 against Toronto — including a career-best 57-yard dash — and again picked up the CFL’s Canadian player of the week honour. He was also named the CFL’s Canadian of the month for September after posting 336 rushing yards, two touchdowns, a 9.9-yard-per-carry average and eight receptions for 166 yards.

He picked up more league recognition in the playoffs as he was named the Canadian player of the week after rushing for 127 yards and one touchdown in the West semifinal against Edmonton. For the second year in a row, Cornish was the Stamps’ nominee for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian award.


In the final game of the regular season, Cornish had 14 carries for 69 yards to finish the regular season with 1,457 rushing yards and break the previous record set by Norman Kwong 56 years earlier for rushing yards by a Canadian. Cornish was the CFL’s leading rusher in the regular season and the first Canadian to be the league’s top runner since Ottawa’s Orville Lee in 1988.

Career statistics

Rushing   Regular season   Playoffs
Year Team Games No. Yards Avg Long TD Games No. Yards Avg Long TD
2007 CGY 18 2 30 15.0 18 0 1 0 0 0.0 0 0
2008 CGY 18 30 254 8.5 48 1 2 0 0 0.0 0 0
2009 CGY 15 20 105 5.3 28 2 2 0 0 0.0 0 0
2010 CGY 18 85 618 7.3 52 0 1 3 31 10.3 28 0
2011 CGY 18 119 863 7.3 57 9 1 14 127 9.3 29 1
2012 CGY 18 258 1,457 5.6 73 11 3 51 278 5.5 0 0
CFL totals 105 514 3,327 6.5 73 23 10 68 436 6.4 29 1

via CFL Stats Page[12]


External links