TORONTO — Winnipeg Blue Bombers pivot, Zach Collaros, and Montreal Alouettes receiver, Eugene Lewis, will go head-to-head for the league’s top individual honour – Most Outstanding Player – at the 2022 CFL Awards. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. local on November 17 at Conexus Arts Centre.
The CFL Awards recognizes the league’s top performers in seven categories as voted by the Football Reporters of Canada and head coaches from across the league. In addition, the Commissioner’s Award, the Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award, the Tom Pate Memorial Award, the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award and the Jane Mawby Tribute Award will honour individuals from across the CFL.
The evening is one of the flagship events in the lead-up to the country’s largest single-day sporting event – the Grey Cup. The 2022 Grey Cup Festival opens on Tuesday, November 15 in Saskatoon before moving to Regina from Wednesday to Saturday. For more information surrounding the CFL Awards and additional events, including dates, venues, purchasing details and more, please visit GreyCupFestival.ca.
The 109th Grey Cup will be played in Regina at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday, November 20 with kickoff slated for 5 p.m. local/6 p.m. ET. The sold-out contest will be broadcast across the nation on TSN and RDS – Canada’s home of the CFL.
2022 CFL AWARD NOMINEES
|Award||West Division Nominee||East Division Nominee|
|Player||Zach Collaros (WPG)||Eugene Lewis (MTL)|
|Defensive Player||Shawn Lemon (CGY)||Lorenzo Mauldin IV (OTT)|
|Canadian||Nathan Rourke (BC)||Kurleigh Gittens Jr. (TOR)|
|Offensive Lineman||Stanley Bryant (WPG)||Brandon Revenberg (HAM)|
|Rookie||Dalton Schoen (WPG)||Tyson Philpot (MTL)|
|Special Teams Player||Mario Alford (SSK)||Chandler Worthy (MTL)|
|Coach of the Year||Mike O’Shea (WPG)||Ryan Dinwiddie (TOR)|
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Zach Collaros led the league with 37 touchdown passes – a dozen more than the next player – as Winnipeg averaged nearly 30 points per game. The former Cincinnati Bearcat notched his first 4,000-yard season, while completing nearly 70 per cent of his passes. This is Collaros’s second career Most Outstanding Player nomination, and he is looking to become the fifth player to win the award in consecutive seasons.
Eugene Lewis established new highs in receptions (91), receiving yards (1,303) and touchdown catches (10). The Oklahoma alumnus recorded an East-leading 22 catches for 20+ yards, while notching 30 second down conversion receptions. He topped the 100-yard mark on five occasions. For the second straight season, an Alouette is the East’s finalist for Most Outstanding Player, following in William Stanback’s footsteps.
MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER
Lorenzo Mauldin IV tallied 17 sacks to become the first Ottawa player to lead the league since Angelo Snipes did so with 20 in 1992 – when he was also nominated for this award. The former Louisville Cardinal totalled a career-high 43 defensive tackles, while adding two forced fumbles and five tackles for a loss. Mauldin registered multiple sacks in five games this season.
Shawn Lemon tied a career-high with 14 sacks in 17 games. The 14-year veteran set a new personal best with 29 defensive tackles, while collecting five forced fumbles to sit tied for the league lead. The Stampeders defence led the CFL in sacks, and allowed the second fewest rushing yards per game (89.6 yards) and the fewest big plays. This is the Akron product’s first nomination for this award.
MOST OUTSTANDING CANADIAN
Nathan Rourke went 8-2 in 10 starts this year, and led the league with six 300+ passing yard games, including three over 400, while registering a 125.1 efficiency rating. The former Ohio Bobcat set the single-season passing completion record (78.7 per cent), while adding 25 touchdowns – trailing only Collaros. Gerry Dattilio (1980) was the last quarterback to be nominated for this award.
Kurleigh Gittens Jr. led all Canadians in catches (81) and receiving yards (1,101) – marking the most by a national receiver since Brad Sinopoli in 2018. Of the Ottawa native’s 81 catches, 26 were second down conversions. The Wilfrid Laurier alumnus set a personal best with five touchdown receptions, while topping the CFL in yards after catch (483).
MOST OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
Brandon Revenberg helped guide Hamilton to its fourth consecutive playoff appearance. The Essex, Ont., native served as the backbone of a Tiger-Cats offence that allowed the fourth fewest sacks (31) despite having the third most passing attempts (549). Hamilton owned the league’s fourth highest passing yard average with receivers Tim White and Steven Dunbar Jr. both notching 1,000-yard seasons. This is Grand Valley State alumnus’s third nomination for the award.
Stanley Bryant led a Blue Bombers offensive line that allowed the second fewest sacks (28), while finishing first in offensive touchdowns (58) and second in rushing yards per game (110.5). The former East Carolina Pirate is the West Division’s nominee for a fifth consecutive season, and is looking to add his third trophy to go with wins in 2018 and 2021.
Revenberg and Bryant also went head-to-head for this award in 2018 and 2021.
MOST OUTSTANDING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER
Mario Alford led the league with four kick return touchdowns, while also accumulating 1,689 combined kick return yards. He is the 11th player in league history with four or more kick return touchdowns in a single season and the fourth ever to score a kick return touchdown in three ways (kickoff, punt return and missed field-goal). The former West Virginia Mountaineer led the CFL in kickoff return average (25.8 yards – minimum 25 returns) and he tied a CFL record with two kickoff return touchdowns.
Chandler Worthy averaged 24.0 kickoff return yards and tied a CFL record with two kickoff return touchdowns. The former Troy Trojans collected 10 big play kick returns, six punts 30+ yard returns and four kickoff returns of 40+ yards. He notched a personal-best 1,824 combined returns yards.
MOST OUTSTANDING ROOKIE
Dalton Schoen played in all 18 games and led the CFL in receiving yards (1,441), average yards per catch (20.6) and touchdown receptions (16). The Kansas State product joins recent first-year players, Curtis Marsh (2000) and David Williams (1988), in leading the league in receiving yards.
2022 CFL Draft first round selection Tyson Philpot appeared in all 18 games, collecting 986 all-purpose yards and scoring two touchdowns. On the offensive side of the ball, the Calgary native recorded 459 yards on 39 receptions, while accumulating 511 combined return yards.
COACH OF THE YEAR
In his second season at the helm, Ryan Dinwiddie guided the Argonauts to an 11-7 mark to claim with the East Division crown, while pushing his career record to 20-12. Toronto went 6-3 on the road and 7-3 in-Division. This is the Elk Grove, Calif., native’s second-straight nomination for this award.
Mike O’Shea led Winnipeg to a league-best 15-3 record, including an 8-1 showing at IG Field and a 10-1 mark against divisional opponents. Winnipeg’s win total established a new franchise record with the team set for a fourth consecutive Western Final appearance. At eight seasons, the North Bay, Ont., native is the longest-serving coach in the CFL with a career record of 82-58. His .833 winning percentage this season surpassed his previous best of .786 established last season.