HAMILTON (November 13, 2014) - After putting together one of the best seasons in school history, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football running back Dillon Campbell of Whitby, Ont., was announced as the 2014 OUA MVP at a press conference on Thursday morning at the Tourism Hamilton Welcome Centre.
Campbell becomes the fourth Laurier player to be named OUA MVP and the first in 20 years, joining Bill Kubas (1994), Ken Evraire (1987) and Jim Reid (1977).
Coming off a breakout season in 2013 when he led the OUA in rushing, Campbell established himself as one of the best football players in the country by literally running away with the CIS rushing title.
Helping carry the Golden Hawks from a 1-7 record last year to a playoff appearance this season, Campbell amassed 1458 rushing yards - 471 yards more than CIS second-leading rusher Chris Reid from Mount Allison.
Appearing in all eight of Laurier’s regular season contests, Campbell ran for 100-plus yards every game, 200-plus yards three times (including a school record 293 yards in a game against Toronto), and led the OUA and CIS with 13 touchdowns and 182.2 yards per game. Campbell also recorded 206 receiving yards on 12 catches, giving him 1664 all-purpose yards which represents 46 percent of Laurier’s total offence in 2014.
In total, Campbell set three school rushing records in 2014, including most carries in a season, most yards in a season and most yards in a game. He also recorded the second most rushing touchdowns in a single season in Laurier history.
“Dillon has definitely had a season to remember,” commented head coach MICHAEL FAULDS. “It is one thing for all of us at Laurier to recognize how good he is, but for all the OUA Head Coaches to vote him the OUA MVP shows how much everyone respects what he has accomplished. The most impressive fact is that every defensive coordinator knew that Dillon was going to get the ball and they still struggled to slow him down. Compiling over 100 yards in every single game and totalling 46% of our whole offence is unheard-of.”
Putting his outstanding year in a historical context at the conference and national level, Campbell’s 1458 rushing yards in a season ranks sixth all-time in the CIS record book, and was the most by a CIS running back since Jamall Lee of Bishop’s ran for 1464 yards in 2007. It was also the most rushing yards in a season by an OUA running back since McMaster’s Jesse Lumsden ran for a CIS-record 1816 yards in 2004. Campbell now joins Lumsden as the only other OUA running back to rush for more than 1400 yards in a season; a feat Lumsden accomplished twice in his career.
“With Dillon leading the conference last year in rushing, I was asked going into this year would he be able to match it and I said he definitely can with his work ethic,” added Faulds. “I still feel the same about 2015. If the CFL doesn't grab Dillon, and they’re crazy if they don't, he will have a great shot at surpassing all of these astronomical numbers.”
For being named OUA MVP, Campbell moves forward as the conference’s nominee for the Hec Crighton Award as the best football player in CIS, the fifth time a Laurier player has been nominated. Asides from the three previous OUA MVP’s, Mike McMahon earned a nomination in 1968 when Laurier was a member of the Central Canada Intercollegiate Football Conference.
2014 OUA FOOTBALL MAJOR AWARD WINNERS
Most Valuable Player – Dillon Campbell – Laurier
President’s Trophy (Outstanding Stand-up Defensive Player) – Nick Shortill – McMaster
J.P. Metras Trophy (Lineman of the Year) – Ettore Lattanzio – Ottawa
Norm Marshall Trophy (Rookie of the Year) – Daniel Petermann – McMaster
Dave ‘Tuffy’ Knight Award (Coach of the Year) – Stefan Ptaszek – McMaster
Russ Jackson Nominee – Adam Dickson – McMaster
Volunteer Coach of the Year – Carm Genovese – McMaster
Officials Award of Merit – Henry Chiu
- with files from the OUA