Not in Kansas anymore

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:16 AM ET

When Jon Cornish arrived in Kansas to start his college tenure, he boldly predicted he would shatter school records.

As a Calgary Stampeders running back, he won't make the same mistake twice.

Cornish, however, has set lofty goals for himself. He just won't reveal those plans to anyone.

Although the New Westminster, B.C., product did exactly what he said he would in his five-year stint at Kansas -- including blowing away the university's single-season rushing record -- he doesn't want anyone to think he's cocky or conceited.

"I know exactly what I'm going to do here," Cornish said. "I'm not going to talk about it. As my plan progresses, you will know more details. I'm already where the plan will take me.

"Within football, I'm very goal orientated. I accomplish certain goals and that takes me to certain places. I use things there to reach more goals."

If that sounds overly introspective, remember Cornish just graduated with a psychology degree.

Part one of Cornish's objective seems to have already been reached. He asserted himself on special teams coverage in the first pre-season game against the Edmonton Eskimos.

Regardless who becomes Joffrey Reynolds' backup, Cornish will get playing time on cover units and likely make the active roster because of his non-import status.

As when he arrived in Kansas, Cornish is behind several established players on the depth chart and must work hard and wait for his chances. It doesn't bother him, he's been through it once and succeeded.

"Being on special teams will get me reps and get me on the team," Cornish said. "When I'm on the team, I eventually get a rep (at running back), which is my opportunity."

Cornish didn't want the structured life he would have to lead had he accepted a free-agent deal in the NFL.

He received offers but came to Calgary because the Stamps drafted him with their first pick in the 2006 draft and were offering him playing time. In three weeks with the team, Stamps head coach Tom Higgins has enjoyed Cornish's attitude and how the 6-ft., 205-pounder jumped into the new role.

"It doesn't seem like a lot phases him," Higgins said. "He's always happy-go-lucky and some people can misconstrue that as not being intense. But during the game, he showed he could go out and tackle somebody instead of being the guy being chased. If you don't pay attention, you might think he doesn't care but he certainly does."

Five years from now, Cornish expects to still be playing football and predicts his body could last a lot longer than it would if he repeated his college experience.

For the first three years he was with the Jayhawks, each practice was full contact and defensive teammates could show their ability to hit by drilling him.

The Stamps save all their hitting for game day. He looks back on his experience with fondness but appreciates where he is right now.

"They want to break you down and rebuild you," Cornish said. "When I first went down there, I was a different person than I am now. Did they directly change me? I don't know. They made me do the things I had to do to succeed and it helped me become a better person."


Videos

Photos