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Lions’ Williams takes home Most Outstanding Rookie honours

HAMILTON —  After a stellar first CFL season, linebacker Jordan Williams has been named 2021’s Most Outstanding Rookie.

With 6.6 tackles per game, Williams’ rookie production puts him on par with any other elite linebacker in the CFL. Williams led the Lions with 92 defensive tackles, good for second in the league behind only Calgary’s Darnell Sankey (97).

“To be a top athlete or an elite athlete, you have to have something about you that’s crazy,” Williams said on what it takes to succeed. “You’ve got to wake up and be like, ‘Tomorrow’s the next chance, tomorrow’s my next chance.'”

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After losing his draft year to the cancelled season, Williams made up for the lost time in 2021 with the Lions. In setting a new record for Canadian tackles, he surpassed Mike O’Shea’s total of 75, set with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1993.

Williams was a consistent and reliable presence for the Lions, recording a minimum of four tackles in all his games, including seven or more tackles in eight of them. He had a season-high 10 tackles on Aug. 19 vs. Edmonton.

 

Additionally, Williams added five special teams tackles, a quarterback sack, an interception, a fumble recovery, and two pass knockdowns.

Toronto Argonaut Peter Nicastro was the runner-up for his play along the offensive line. The former East Carolina Pirate received 46 first-place votes.

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