Duron Carter’s ability to play both offensive and defensive football earned him a nod, and Ed Gainey’s 10 interceptions have also been considered outstanding as the Roughriders announced their player award nominees Wednesday morning.
Members of the football reporters of Canada and head coach Chris Jones voted on the awards last week. The list is as follows.
Most Outstanding Player: Duron Carter
Carter signed with the Roughriders in January 2017 with some hesitation from the fan base, but that was quickly erased as the effervescent receiver’s bubbly personality was embraced by those who met him.
On the field, Carter is the Roughriders’ top receiver with 73 receptions for a team-leading 1,043 yards and eight touchdowns.
He has had three games with over 100 yards receiving including a 231 yard game against Ottawa.
Carter also showed his versatility this season when he started as a defensive back in place of the injured Kacy Rodgers.
He was named a CFL Top Performer for week six, week 17 and week 18.
The last Roughrider to win the CFL’s most outstanding player was Kerry Joseph in 2007.
Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Ed Gainey
With hands that could rival some league receivers, Gainey and his 10 interceptions earned the nod for the team’s most outstanding defensive player.
Gainey leads the league in the interception category and his closest rival is five back.
Arguably Gainey’s best game of the season came against B.C. When he caught four interceptions – one of which he returned for a touchdown – and set a new team record.
Gainey has also had 43 defensive tackles, seven knockdowns, two fumble recoveries and one special-teams tackle.
He was a CFL top performer in week eight.
The last Roughrider to win CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player was John Chick in 2009.
Most Outstanding Canadian: Henoc Muamba
Middle linebacker Henoc Muamba was a unanimous selection for the Roughriders’ top Canadian after putting together a solid season on defence.
Muamba’s season has really come on lately, amassing two interceptions in weeks 16 and 17, a season-high eight defensive tackles against Calgary in week 14 and a forced fumble in week 18.
Muamba leads the team with 76 defensive tackles overall, and on top of that has 11 special-teams tackles, five knockdowns, three forced fumbles and two interceptions on the season.
The last Rider to win CFL Outstanding Canadian was Andy Fantuz in 2010.
Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman: Brendon LaBatte
Brendon LaBatte has earned his sixth career nomination as most outstanding offensive lineman this season, and this year it was unanimous.
LaBatte started every game in the Roughriders’ season and seamlessly moved from left guard to centre after an injury to Dan Clark.
LaBatte recently returned to left guard upon Clark’s return.
He was previously nominated with the Riders in 2013 and 2015, and with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 2009-11.
LaBatte was also the last Rider to be named CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman when he picked up the award in 2013 – the year the Riders won the Grey Cup.
Most Outstanding Special Teams Player: Christion Jones
Christion Jones played his first game for the Riders in August and was an immediate spark plug on special teams for the club.
Jones has returned 42 for 618 yards and two touchdowns and is second in the CFL with a punt-return average of 14.7 yards. The last Rider to win CFL Most Outstanding Special Teams Player was Corey Holmes in 2005.
Most Outstanding Rookie: Tobi Antigha
Antigha joined the Roughriders defence this season after playing his entire college career as a wide receiver.
The defensive lineman gained more than 20 pounds to try out for head coach Chris Jones on defence and won him over, playing sixteen games so far this season at defensive end.
Antigha has registered 29 defensive tackles, six special-teams tackles, five quarterback sacks and one fumble recovery in his first season in the league.
The last Rider to win CFL Most Outstanding Rookie was Weston Dressler in 2008.