Kainth, Chin to play university football

New Westminster Hyacks Sonu Kainth (76) will play next season for the University of Manitoba Bisons while Jordan Chin (55) will be going to Montreal to suit up with the Concordia University Stingers. - Alan Wardle/Hyacks
New Westminster Hyacks Sonu Kainth (76) will play next season for the University of Manitoba Bisons while Jordan Chin (55) will be going to Montreal to suit up with the Concordia University Stingers.
— image credit: Alan Wardle/Hyacks

Two Hyacks are headed east for higher education and new heights on the football field.

Defensive lineman Sonu Kainth, who weighs in at 250 pounds and tops the tape at six-foot-six, has agreed to join the University of Manitoba Bisons next season. Linebacker Jordan Chin will play for the Concordia Stingers in Montreal, where he will also be on the wrestling team.

Kainth's rise was quick, not having been a force in his early years playing pigskin.

"Sonu was awful when he first showed up," said Hyacks head coach Farhan Lalji. "He could not do a squat, he was that poor of an athlete."

But last summer, he dedicated himself to improving his play working out with former Hyack Cody Husband, now with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the last Hyack to make such a dramatic improvement according to Lalji.

"He went from an afterthought to an all-star," said Lalji of Kainth in an interview. "He really came into his own last year."

He had seven quarterback sacks, which was fifth in the province, and 45 tackles.

Kainth was being chased by not only Manitoba, but super recruiter Blake Nill, head coach of the perennial powerhouse University of Calgary Dinosaurs, Simon Fraser University, Carleton and Mount Allison.

“I picked the University of Manitoba because they had everything I was looking for in a university—a great football program, coaches, players and faculties, said Kainth in a Hyacks press release.

The Bisons have a reputation for being a defensive lineman school, with its most notable graduate in that department being Israel Idonije of the NFL's Chicago Bears.

Manitoba head coach Brian Dobie made a big impression on Kainth, and Kainth made a big impression on Dobie.

“We were really impressed with Sonu’s film and he had an immediate impact on our coaching staff with his speed and athleticism. His steady improvement over the last two years is a testament to his commitment and worth ethic," said Dobie the release. "I was also tremendously impressed with Sonu’s character and we believe that will translate in Sonu becoming an outstanding [defensive end] at the CIS level.”

Chin comes from a football pedigree. His late father Kevin was the former head coach of Centennial's football program in Coquitlam, and was on Lalji's coaching staff when he passed away. Chin's older brother Casey also plays for SFU.

"For Jordan there was a certain level of pressure in having to follow in Casey's footsteps is not easy," said Lalji. "It took him a while to emerge, and eventually he did."

Lalji said with Chin being five-foot-eight it was tougher to find a school for him, but Concordia turned out to be a good fit because he has family in Quebec and he'll also be able to wrestle for the school.

“I chose the University of Concordia because they are offering me the best opportunity to continue with football while allowing me to pursue my education,” said Chin in the release. “Coach [Luc] Pelland indicated I will be able to make an impact and have the opportunity to fight for a position right from the beginning. They also have a well-known exercise science program and I also have family living in Quebec, making the choice to leave home a little easier."

Chin was sixth in the province in tackles with 63 in nine games. He also was a starting guard on offence as well as being the long snapper and a team captain.

"Jordan is a dynamic player and versatile athlete with a nose for the ball," said Pelland, Concordia's linebacking coach, in the release. "His skills on special teams will greatly help him in his first year to fight for a roster spot."

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