By Earl Zukerman
Austin Anderson, a place-kicker with the McGill University Redmen, is the 2011 RSEQ football conference nominee for the Russ Jackson trophy, which goes to the player who best combines academics with athletics and citizenship. He becomes the 12th McGill candidate in 26 years to win the Quebec nomination. The announcement was made by the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) at a press conference held at McGill Monday.
Sherbrooke wide receiver Simon Charbonneau-Campeau, from St. Jean sur Richelieu, Que., claimed the Jeff Russel trophy for the second straight campaign and is once again in the running for the Hec Crighton trophy as most outstanding player in CIS football.
Other RSEQ award winners include Concordia linebacker Max Caron (most outstanding defensive player), Laval defensive end Arnaud Gascon-Nadon (most outstanding down lineman), Vert & Or quarterback Jérémi Roch (rookie of the year) and Sherbrooke’s André Bolduc, who was named the league’s coach of the year for the first time.
Anderson, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound native of Canmore, Alta., is the son of former NFL all-star kicker Gary Anderson who became the NFL’s all-time leading scorer. He is a co-captain with the Redmen, was voted a conference all-star in 2009 and is currently ranked 12th among the top prospects for the 2012 CFL Canadian Draft by the CFL’s Scouting Bureau. Anderson led the Redmen in scoring with 41 points in nine games, making 10 of 14 field-goals and all 11 conversions attempted.
A 21-year-old management senior, he has received a Petro Canada Emerging Leader Scholarship in 2008 and has earned CIS Academic All-Canadian honours, in addition to qualifying for the Dean’s Honour List and the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll.
Anderson sits on the McGill Varsity Council and served as the body’s vice-president of student-athlete initiatives. He helped organize and participated in gathering non-perishables for the Sun Youth Christmas Food Drive last December and organized the McGill Varsity Fair in 2010 to promote intercollegiate sports and varsity athletes on the campus.
A recipient of the team’s Strachan Hartley memorial trophy for athletic ability and academic excellence, while demonstrating leadership on the field and in community activity, Anderson initiated a Bible study club (“Pro 27:17”) for the McGill football team, mentored inner-city kids at Vacation Bible School in Indianapolis last July and joined a number of his teammates for a visit to the Montreal Shriner’s Children’s Hospital for Children last month.
The season award winners from the three other CIS conferences will be unveiled on Thursday. The national recipients will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 24 in Vancouver, on the eve of the 47th Vanier Cup final at B.C. Place Stadium.