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CFL’s Finest: Top Players Vie for Prestige at 2023 CFL Awards

Key Points:

  • CFL’s elite face off for the coveted Most Outstanding Player award
  • A plethora of accolades set to highlight individuals’ on-field brilliance
  • The CFL Awards to be a focal point of the Grey Cup Festival buzz

The CFL has always been a bastion of talent and tenacity, and the 2023 CFL Awards serve as a testament to the incredible athletes who elevate this sport to thrilling heights. As the league anticipates the awards ceremony at the Avalon Theatre in the majestic Niagara Falls, let’s spotlight the finalists contending for individual glory.

Most Outstanding Player

Brady Oliveira vs. Chad Kelly

In the spotlight for the league’s most prestigious recognition, the Most Outstanding Player, are two athletes who have not only set benchmarks but have also enthralled the CFL fandom with their captivating play. Brady Oliveira, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ indomitable running back, carved paths through defenses, culminating in a staggering 1,534 rushing yards, earning him a spot in the league’s historical archives. Chad Kelly, the Toronto Argonauts’ quarterback and maestro of the offence, showcased a symphony of plays that resonated across the league, steering his team to a franchise-best record.

Most Outstanding Defensive Player

Mathieu Betts vs. Adarius Pickett

Defensive prowess has never gone unnoticed, and this year, Mathieu Betts of the BC Lions and Adarius Pickett from the Toronto Argonauts have set the gold standard. Betts’ relentless pursuit of the quarterback resulted in 18 sacks, a record for a Canadian, while Pickett’s comprehensive defensive skill set was on full display through 144 defensive plays. Both have left an indelible mark this season.

Most Outstanding Canadian

Brady Oliveira vs. Marc-Antoine Dequoy

The honour of Most Outstanding Canadian shines a light on the local talent that continues to define CFL’s unique character. Oliveira, with his yard-gathering brilliance, finds his name once again amongst the finalists. Marc-Antoine Dequoy of Montreal put forth an exemplary season with takeaways that turned games and etched his name in the records with two interceptions returned for touchdowns.

Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman

Jermarcus Hardrick vs. Dejon Allen

The battle in the trenches often goes unseen, but the contribution is invaluable. Jermarcus Hardrick of Winnipeg and Dejon Allen from Toronto have been the bulwarks for their respective offensive units. Hardrick’s role in fostering the league’s best running attack and Allen’s contribution to Toronto’s dynamic scoring capability highlight the importance of strength and skill on the line.

Most Outstanding Special Teams Player

Sean Whyte vs. Javon Leake

Special teams are often the turning point in games, and this season Sean Whyte and Javon Leake have been nothing short of spectacular. Whyte’s precision kicking has been a cornerstone for BC, while Leake’s punt return prowess for Toronto has rewritten the franchise record books.

Most Outstanding Rookie

Kai Gray vs. Qwan’tez Stiggers

The fresh faces of Kai Gray and Qwan’tez Stiggers have shown that they can shine brightly in the CFL spotlight. Gray’s defensive acumen for Edmonton and Stiggers’ knack for interceptions have set them apart, showcasing the future of CFL’s defensive talent.

Coach of the Year

Mike O’Shea vs. Ryan Dinwiddie

Coaching is as much an art as it is a strategy, and Mike O’Shea alongside Ryan Dinwiddie have painted masterpieces this season. O’Shea’s guidance led Winnipeg to another division title, while Dinwiddie’s leadership saw Toronto match a historic win record.

As the CFL celebrates the Grey Cup Festival, the Awards form the heartbeat of this grand celebration of Canadian football. The anticipation builds for the 110th Grey Cup, and as the nation’s eyes turn to Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field on November 19, the narrative of CFL excellence continues to be written by the remarkable individuals who define it.

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Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry is the founder and editor of CFL News Hub. A dedicated and experienced football analyst, he has been providing comprehensive coverage of the sport since 2018.
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