The Montreal Alouettes announced their nominees for the CFL Player Awards. Their nominees will now go up against nominees from the other teams for the East nomination which will then go up against the West nominees.
Most of the results were not surprising and one was unanimous. Let`s take a look at them and how they should fare in the East Division.
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Most Outstanding Player: Duron Carter
Carter has really come on strong in the second half of the season since he has a quarterback who can get him the ball and an offence that is calling plays successfully.
Carter, despite missing three games and the offensive struggles of the offence, sits third in the league with 987 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 71 catches.
I was actually surprised to see his numbers so high. He may have a chance to come out of the East, especially with another big game against Hamilton.
It may be possible that Zach Collaros or Ricky Ray surpass him, but with Ray out and Collaros also missing time with injuries, Carter may have the inside track. I would also put Carter up against Jasper Simmons who is Ottawa`s nominee.
I do think the eventual winner will come out of the West, but Carter may just be the East MOP.
Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Bear Woods
When Shea Emry left for the Toronto Argonauts, many – myself included – thought the Alouettes would struggle to replace him.
However, no one could have imagined the way that Woods improved over the season and became the star of a star-studded Alouettes defence.
This could have easily been John Bowman or Chip Cox, but Woods passed them all from the middle linebacker spot.
Woods missed six games, which could hurt his chances when he goes up against Simoni Lawrence from Hamilton and Tristan Okpalaugo, but despite missing a third of the season is third in the league in tackles and leads the Alouettes. He also won two straight defensive player of the month awards.
Most Outstanding Canadian + Offensive Lineman: Jeff Perrett
Perrett was nominated for both awards and is one of the leaders of the offensive line that has allowed only 30 sacks all year which is good enough for second in the league. In their last nine games, the team has allowed only seven sacks.
The offensive line was also key in saving the win for the Alouettes last week against Toronto. When the game was on the line, the line opened up for Tyrell Sutton as they held on and got the necessary first downs.
It’s always hard to judge offensive linemen, but you can imagine Perrett, Josh Bourke and Luc Brodeur-Jourdain were very close in both categories.
Most Outstanding Special Teams Player: Sean Whyte
Whyte had a great season field goal kicking and his punting often held opponents in check. He wasn’t perfect, but was very good and with James Rodgers inconsistent in terms of his returns, the obvious choice for the Alouettes.
Whyte hit 38 field goals and at one point was able to hit 24 consecutive at one point, tying his career best and setting an Alouettes team record.
Most Outstanding Rookie: Gabriel Knapton
Knapton caught my attention in training camp when people starting whispering about him. He started as a backup, and with the injuries to Bear Woods, had an opportunity to join the rotation at defensive end.
He had 34 tackles and nine sacks in only 13 games as he battled with injuries. He played very well alongside Aaron Lavarias opposite John Bowman. He has a bright future in this league and may one day impress enough to get to the NFL.
He was a unanimous choice for Alouettes rookie and will be in tough for the East nomination as he faces off against – among others – Tristan Okpalaugo.
La Metropole Sports Award Predictions:
Player: Duron Carter
Defensive: Bear Woods
Canadian: Justin Capicciotti, OTT
Offensive Lineman: Jeff Perrett
Special Teams: Swayze Waters, TOR
Rookie: Tristan Okpalaugo, TOR
Player: Solomon Elimimian, BC
Defensive: Solomon Elimimian, BC
Canadian: Ricky Foley, SSK
Offensive Lineman: Brett Jones, CGY
Special Teams: Rob Maver, CGY
Rookie: Dexter McCoil, EDM
Toughest picks: Leaving out Cornish for Top Canadian. Okpalaugo over Knapton for rookie. Leaving out John Chick, but you can’t ignore Elimimian’s season.