Former Seaquam Seahawk Tyson Philpot has been named the U Sports rookie of the year after helping the University of Calgary Dinos achieve the team’s fourth-ever undefeated season and the best passing season in Canadian university football history.
The wide receiver put up some solid numbers in his debut season with the Dinos, making 32 catches for 741 yards and four touchdowns over eight regular season games, with an average carry of 17.6 yards and eight receptions of 30 yards or more.
In September, Philpot set a U of Calgary record with a 107-yard play for a major against the UBC Thunderbirds.
Philpot added to his regular season totals during the Canada West playoffs, making another five catches for 145 yards and one touchdown over two games.
Earlier this month, Philpot was one of 11 Dinos named to the Canada West All-star team — the lone rookie named to the conference’s all-star team this fall — and on Thursday, Nov. 22, the 18-year-old was honoured with the Peter Gorman Trophy during the U Sports gala at the Vidéotron Centre in Quebec City, the official kick off event for the 54th Vanier Cup.
“It’s a testament to how hard our team has worked this year,” Philpot said in a Dinos press release. “It’s an individual award but it shows how hard all of our receivers worked. It’s a great honour.
“It was a big jump from high school competition to university, but it was fun getting to work with a great receiving corps and [Dinos quarterback] Adam [Sinagra] was so good at getting us blended into the offence.”
Dinos head coach Wayne Harris Jr. praised Philpot’s attitude and work ethic, saying his skill set far exceeds that of the average freshman.
“Tyson has been a great addition to our program.” Harris said in the release. “He has been able to learn our systems quickly, and has dedicated himself to being successful. He has made big catches, in big games, at big moments. He continues to work hard in practice and doesn’t take anything for granted. He has been a great addition and a great teammate for everyone in the room.”
Philpot wasn’t the only Dinos player to be honoured at the gala: quarterback Adam Sinagra was given the Hec Crighton Trophy as U Sports’ player of the year.
The fourth-year arts student from Pointe Claire, Que. set a new U Sports record, passing for 3,233 yards and averaging just over 570 yards per game. Sinagra ranked second in the nation in passing touchdowns this season with 23 and led the conference with a passer rating of 126.
“It’s humbling, and it’s a great honour,” Sinagra said in a Dinos press release. “I couldn’t haven’t done it without the team, though, honestly — the quarterback position, you can’t do it alone. You need all facets of the offence buying in and contributing. The whole team is a part of this.
“I was more comfortable this year and took more ownership, but I didn’t really notice a huge difference from previous years. I just was able to make those extra few plays that I wasn’t last year. We have such a good team around us, and it makes my job a lot easier.”