University·U SPORTS FOOTBALL

Western QB Chris Merchant named top Canadian university football player

Western Mustangs quarterback Chris Merchant has been named the top player in Canadian university football this year. Merchant captured the Hec Crighton Trophy on Thursday night at the U Sports football awards.

5th-year senior led Mustangs to 3rd consecutive unbeaten regular season

Western University Mustangs quarterback Chris Merchant won the Hec Crighton trophy awarded to the most outstanding Canadian football player on Thursday. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Western Mustangs quarterback Chris Merchant has been named the top player in Canadian university football this year.

Merchant captured the Hec Crighton Trophy on Thursday night at the U Sports football awards.

The fifth-year senior from Calgary led the Mustangs to their third consecutive unbeaten regular season.

Merchant threw for 2,378 and 14 touchdowns and rushed for 438 yards and six majors in eight games.

Merchant was joined by his coach, Greg Marshall, in the winner's circle. Marshall was named coach of the year for the second straight season and the third time in his career.

WATCH | Merchant receives Hec Crighton award:

Western Mustangs quarterback Chris Merchant is awarded the Hec Crighton Trophy as U Sports most outstanding Canadian football player. 4:04

"Chris Merchant has had an outstanding season and career as our quarterback at Western," Marshall said in a statement. "He has made a significant impact on our football program at Western. He has been an outstanding athlete, student and teammate at Western."

Saskatchewan Huskies defensive back Nelson Lokombo received the Presidents' Trophy as the top defensive player.

McGill Redbirds defensive tackle Andrew Seinet-Spaulding earned the J.P. Metras Trophy as top lineman.

Concordia Stingers receiver Jeremy Murphy won the Peter Gorman Trophy as top rookie.

York Lions free safety Jacob Janke captured the Russ Jackson Award for excellence in football, academics and citizenship.

Regina Rams' Greg Nesbitt won the Gino Fracas Award as volunteer assistant coach of the year.

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