OUA MVP honours for Campbell

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Contributed Image

Even as football season fades into the distance, star running back Dillon Campbell continues to collect accolades.

This past Thursday the Wilfrid Laurier University running back was named Ontario University Athletics  MVP, as he was dubbed the most essential player to his team this past season. It does not come as an enormous shock, given that he accounted for 46 per cent of Laurier’s total offence this year and was a cornerstone of their entire offensive playbook.

Last year he racked up 867 rushing yards, good for first in the OUA. It was a feat that brought him only a second team OUA all-star selection, which was something that fueled him to bring even more to the table this year.

“Doing so well last year and being given second team OUA, I thought I deserved a little better than that. I just used it as the motivation I needed to work that much harder,” he said.

This season, he maintained his position at the top of that list, but this time with a staggering 1458 yards. The next best rusher was over 450 yards from his total.

According to head coach Michael Faulds, Campbell’s success was even more impressive because other teams were looking for him to get touches.

“Defensive coordinators knew we were giving number 34 the ball and yet they struggled to slow him down or stop him. He had an outstanding year the year before and he just continued to get better,” he said.

Campbell became only the second Golden Hawk in 20 years to win the MVP award. Bill Kubas, who helped the Hawks claim their first national title at the Vanier Cup in 1991, won in 1994.

“It’s just an honour to be mentioned in the same sentence and seeing myself on the same award as some of the great players in the past,” Campbell said.

The achievement cements Campbell, who is entering his draft year, as the top player in the province. However there is one more prize the fourth-year kinesiology major has in his sights: the Hec Crighton Award.

This is handed to the single most valuable player in the country. Nominees are selected from the OUA, Atlantic University Sport, the Canada West Conference and the Quebec Student Sport Network (RSEQ).

Campbell’s competition includes third-year receiver Brian Jones of the Acadia University Axemen, fourth-year quarterback Andrew Buckley of the University of Calgary Dinos and first-year quarterback Hugo Richard of the Laval University Rouge et Or.

Each of these players have had outstanding accomplishments this past season. Jones set a single season record with 57 catches in eight games and led the AUS with 639 receiving yards.

Buckley generally only played three quarters, as his team dominated the competition and still racked up 2175 passing yards.

Probably the most intriguing selection is Richard, who is only the second freshman to be nominated for the award since its inception in 1967. He lead the country in passing yards (2576), touchdown passes (22) and TD-interception ratio (22-4). He also set the RSEQ record for most touchdown passes in a game with seven.

Faulds is drawn to the possibility that Campbell could take home the honours despite the stiff competition.

“I really like his chances. Being a fourth-year player, putting up the numbers he did, I think he’s got a great opportunity to next Thursday to be announced the Hec Crighton winner,” he said.

After the awards are settled, Campbell will turn his attention to the draft combine, as he looks to make the jump into the next stage of his football career — the Canadian Football League.

“It’s definitely something I am excited to do, I’ve always wanted to play professional, so I’ve just got to put my best foot forward and get myself ready for that,” said Campbell.

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