Two key members of the Canisius High School 2019 state champion football team took part in a college signing ceremony in the Canisius High School Kennedy Field House on National Signing Day, February 5. In front of family, friends, faculty and staff, these young men made their commitments to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level.
Donovan Cornelius '20, who played lineman for the Crusaders, signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the University at Buffalo. Donovan is an All-WNY Scholar Athlete with 3.8 grade point average. He earned All-WNY First Team, All-Catholic First Team, All-State Third Team honors this past season.
“Donovan is one of the strongest and most technically sound players in the entire country, and his work ethic, quiet strength and lead by example attitude were crucial for our young offensive line,” says Canisius Head Football Coach Rich Robbins. “He plays every play of the game both ways, dominates his opponents, leads his team to victory, then cleans up the locker room and carries the trainer’s water jugs to his car for him.”
Christian “CJ” Ozolins '20 was a team leader for the Crusaders at linebacker. He made his commitment to play for Mercyhurst University. The Buffalo News selected CJ as the 2019 Player of the Year. His other honors include All-WNY First Team, All-State First Team, and Connolly Cup finalist. CJ led the state in tackles with 145. He also had 5.5 sacks and 3 interceptions in 2019. In a career highlight that will not soon be forgotten by Crusaders fans, CJ scored the state championship winning two-point conversion.
“CJ is one of the best all-around players, leaders and young men to play for Canisius in my time here,” says Robbins. “His size, speed and toughness made him the best linebacker in New York State, and he literally put his team on his back and lead them to a state championship.”
Click here to see additional photos from the signing ceremony.