O’Canada: Muamba wins Most Outstanding Canadian

CALGARY — Henoc Muamba has set a new standard for Canadians on defence.

The Montreal Alouettes middle linebacker continued his memorable season on Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, being named Most Outstanding Canadian at the 2019 Shaw CFL Awards.

Muamba finished second in the league in defensive tackles (93) and fourth in total defensive plays (104), helping Montreal finish second in the East Division and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

“One of the things that helped me sleep at night after that loss was the realization of the season we had and how far we’ve come as a team and an organization. I realized how long of a journey it was for us,” Muamba said after receiving his award. “…We’ve come a long way and those are the kinds of things that give me peace and allows me to look forward and be excited for the future.”

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The product of St. Francis Xavier and former first overall pick of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers also added three pass knockdowns, two forced fumbles, a sack and four tackles for a loss. He added six more tackles in a loss to Edmonton in the Eastern Semi-Final.

Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Cameron Judge is the runner-up after recording 61 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions and a touchdown.

Throughout his eight CFL seasons, which also include time in Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, where he was originally drafted in 2011, Muamba has accumulated 486 defensive tackles, 12 sacks and 14 forced fumbles. He’s had three seasons with at least 92 tackles.

Thursday’s honour marks a career first for Muamba, a native of Montreal, and the fifth time that an Alouette has captured the award, following Ben Cahoon (2002-03), Nick Arakgi (1984) and Gerry Dattillio (1980). The last linebacker to take home the award was Mike O’Shea in 1999.