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Archive for Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Two ex-Jayhawks in CFL

June 27, 2007

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Two former Kansas University football players have made the opening-day rosters of Canadian Football League teams.

Jon Cornish, the Jayhawks' single-season rushing record holder, is a rookie running back with the Calgary Stampeders and veteran defensive end Ron Warner is in his first season with the Edmonton Eskimos.

A native of British Columbia, Cornish rushed 250 times for a school-record 1,457 yards with the Jayhawks last season.

He is projected as a back-up running back and special teams player with the Stampeders.

"Being on special teams will get me reps," Cornish told the Calgary Sun newspaper.

Joffrey Reynolds is the Stamps' No. 1 ball-carrier with Cornish listed as one of the reserves, a role he has accepted.

"It doesn't seem like a lot phases him," Calgary coach Tom Higgins told the Sun. "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."

Cornish wasn't tapped in April's NFL Draft, but he received a couple of free-agent tenders that he rejected so he could play in his native country. He had been the Stamps' No. 1 selection in the 2006 CFL Draft.

Warner, now 31, made his CFL debut last season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after logging a few seasons in the NFL. However, despite leading the Blue Bombers with six sacks last season, Winnipeg traded him in April to the Eskimos.

"The Edmonton Eskimos got a star," the 6-foot-2, 248-pound Warner told the Edmonton media. "They got a brand-new shiny diamond."

A native of Independence, Kan., Warner established KU's single-season sacks record with 14.5 in 1997.

Edmonton will play host to Winnipeg in its season opener tonight. Calgary will open at home Saturday against Hamilton.

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