Cornish gets contract bump

Stampeders running back Jon Cornish finds a hole in the Eskimos defence at Commonwealth Stadium in...

Stampeders running back Jon Cornish finds a hole in the Eskimos defence at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alta., Nov. 13, 2011. (CODIE McLACHLAN/QMI Agency)

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:50 PM ET

CALGARY - Jon Cornish refers to a trip to the endzone as a ‘house call.’

After the shifty running back celebrated 11 majors in 2011, the Calgary Stampeders wanted to ensure he continued to call McMahon Stadium home.

The Stamps have scheduled a “major player announcement” for Tuesday morning, where they’ll confirm Cornish has signed a contract extension. Although details of the deal aren’t known, the 27-year-old from New Westminster, B.C., should score a raise, too.

He deserves it.

He knows it.

Just one day after the Stamps were eliminated by the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL’s West Division semifinal, Cornish logged on to his Twitter account to reflect on the historic significance of his breakout campaign, writing, “11 tds by a CDN? Hasn’t been done since 1990. 7.3 ypc by a CDN? Hasn’t been done since 1960. Ya we lost but there’s much to look forward to!”

Fans of the Stamps can look forward to a full helping of Cornish next summer.

Despite serving as a sidekick to Joffrey Reynolds for the first dozen weeks of the season and making just seven regular-season starts, the sure-handed back finished fifth in the CFL rushing race with 863 yards on 119 ground attempts and tied for the league lead with nine rushing touchdowns.

He also caught 26 passes for 385 yards and scored two more majors through the air.

And Cornish certainly can’t be blamed for the Stamps’ first-round playoff loss after churning up 127 yards on 14 rushing attempts and making one trip to the endzone at Commonwealth Stadium.

Although Cornish had at least one more season — the particulars of CFL contracts are shrouded in more secrecy than the Caramilk recipe — remaining on his old deal, the extension marks a continued changing of the guard at McMahon Stadium.

It’s only a matter of time before Reynolds, who is Calgary’s all-time rushing leader, is released.

It’s no secret that quarterback Henry Burris is available in a trade, although the market could’ve shrivelled up a bit after the Monday’s stunning swap between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Toronto Argonauts, which sent high-paid signal-callers in both directions.

And there are rumblings Stamps defensive tackle DeVone Claybrooks will announce his retirement, perhaps as soon as Tuesday’s media availability at McMahon Stadium.

The Stamps will also have some turnover in their coaching offices, with defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones already taking his talents to Toronto and offensive play-caller Dave Dickenson still in the mix for the head coaching opening in both Hamilton and Saskatchewan.

Cornish, though, isn’t going anywhere. Along with quarterback Drew Tate and slotback Nik Lewis, he is a key piece of the future on offence.

Better yet, he’s Canadian.

Prior to the 2011 season, TSN’s Duane Forde selected the former Univeristy of Kansas Jayhawks star as the CFL’s top homegrown talent, and Cornish didn’t disappoint.

He was named the Canadian player of the week on three different occasions in 2011 and was the Stamps’ nominee for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian award. With a couple more starts, Cornish likely would’ve won the league-wide honour, which was presented to Edmonton Eskimos running back Jerome Messam.

Cornish, meanwhile, has been rewarded for his efforts with a new pact, and the Stamps will be thrilled to have him locked up for the foreseeable future.

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson


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