Curtis Carmichael of the Queen’s Golden Gaels has been named winner of the Russ Jackson award, given to the Canadian university football player who best displays athletic ability, academic achievement and citizenship.
An academic all-Canadian last year, Carmichael, a fourth-year physical and health education student, led the Gaels this season with 34 receptions—many of them spectacular. He finished the season with 520 yards receiving and four touchdowns.
Carmichael will be the first member of his family to graduate from university. The product of a tough neighbourhood in Scarborough, he is a member of a community group called Nightlight, that works with people who are victims of drug addiction, disability or homelessness.
Carmichael, who hopes to enter teachers college next fall, also volunteers at two city high schools.
On campus, Carmichael is part of a group of volunteers who organize the Queen’s Adaptive Games, for children with intellectual disabilities. Last summer, he travelled to Romania with a group called International Teams Canada that visited orphanages there.
Carmichael leads the weekly chapel group on the football team, and he’s a member of Navigators, a student Bible-study group at Queen's.
Carmichael is the fourth Queen’s player to win the award, following Curtis McLellan (2003), Jock Climie (1989) and Charlie Galunic, the inaugural winner in 1986. Queen’s is the only school in the history of the award to have four different players win it.
The other finalists for the Jackson award were Will Wojcik of Acadia, Jeremi Roch of Sherbrooke and D.J. Lalama of Manitoba.