SOLOMON ELIMIMIAN REWRITES HISTORY AT CFL AWARDS
Lions linebacker becomes first pure defensive player to be named Most Outstanding Player
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Earlier tonight, BC Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian became the first pure defensive player to be recognized as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. Elimimian, who also took home Most Outstanding Defensive Player, was honoured during the CFL Awards Show held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, B.C. as part of the festivities for the 102nd Grey Cup.
Other award winners include Calgary Stampeders’ running back Jon Cornish (Most Outstanding Canadian), Stampeders’ offensive lineman Brett Jones (Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman), Toronto Argonauts’ kicker and punter Swayze Waters (Most Outstanding Special Teams Player), Edmonton Eskimos’ linebacker Dexter McCoil (Most Outstanding Rookie) and the Stampeders’ Randy Chevrier (Tom Pate Memorial Award).
The Commissioner’s Award, in recognition of an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the league was also handed out at the CFL Awards. The Ottawa REDBLACKS ownership group consisting of Roger Greenberg, Jeff Hunt, John Pugh, John Ruddy and Bill Shenkman received the award for their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to the rebirth of the CFL in the national capital.
The Most Outstanding Player Award winners were selected by a panel of voters that includes representation from the Football Reporters of Canada from all CFL markets, the national chapter of FRC voters and the CFL head coaches. In total, 62 voters completed their ballots. No player selections were unanimous.
CFL MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER
SOLOMON ELIMIMIAN, LB
This year, not only did Elimimian break the CFL’s all-time single season record for defensive tackles with 143, he also eclipsed the CFL total tackles mark with 151. The five-year veteran equaled his career-high of five sacks, originally set in the 2010 campaign. His three fumble recoveries set a new personal best.
Elimimian becomes the first player in league history to win three different CFL awards: Most Outstanding Rookie (2010), Most Outstanding Defensive Player (2014) and Most Outstanding Player (2014).
Elimimian, a former Hawaii Rainbow Warrior, is the first player in CFL history to record six games of at least ten or more tackles in a single season.
The Lions’ linebacker received 48 first place votes for Most Outstanding Player, and 58 first place votes for Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
MOST OUTSTANDING CANADIAN PLAYER
JON CORNISH, RB
Cornish led the league in rushing for the third consecutive season, finishing the 2014 campaign with 1,082 rushing yards in only nine games – the fewest games played in history by a league leader. In his eighth season in the CFL, Cornish finished with 1,215 yards from scrimmage and a total of six touchdowns.
This marks the third straight year in which the product of the University of Kansas has been recognized as the league's top Canadian. Tony Gabriel is the only other player to have achieved this feat, having registered three straight wins from 1976 to 1978.
Cornish, a native of New Westminster, B.C., received 50 first place votes for Most Outstanding Canadian Player.
MOST OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
BRETT JONES, OL
Jones anchored a stalwart Stampeders' offensive line which stood tall in defending the league's leading rusher in Jon Cornish and the team with the most rushing yards, while conceding the fewest number of quarterback sacks.
The former standout from the University of Regina becomes only the second player in CFL history to win the Most Outstanding Rookie award and then follow-up that effort with a CFL Award in his sophomore season. Jones joins Cameron Wake (2007 Most Outstanding Rookie and 2008 Most Outstanding Defensive Player) as the only two players to have accomplished this feat.
Jones' first Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award comes on the strength of receiving 41 first place votes.
Following Brandon LaBatte taking the award last season, two native sons of Weyburn, Saskatchewan have now been named the league's top offensive lineman in consecutive years.
MOST OUTSTANDING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER
SWAYZE WATERS, K/P
In 2014, Waters set the standard for all kickers and punters in the CFL. The dual threat kicker led the league in kicking points (192), field goals (47) and in punting (47.7 yards per punt). No player has led the league in all three statistical categories since Lui Passaglia's 1983 season.
The native of Jackson, Mississippi booted the longest field goal of the year with a 53-yard marker in Week 13 action. He completed the campaign having made 90.4 per cent of his attempts.
Waters also punted the ball on 136 occasions, totaling 6,483 yards and career-high average of 47.7 yards per punt.
The product of the University of Alabama-Birmingham received 51 first place votes. This is Waters’ first Most Outstanding Special Teams Player award.
MOST OUTSTANDING ROOKIE
DEXTER MCCOIL, LB
McCoil’s rookie season was certainly one to remember. The Eskimos linebacker recorded 67 tackles, four sacks and tied for the league lead with six interceptions in his first season in the CFL.
The product of the Univeristy of Tulsa ranked second in the league in total turnovers with seven and became only the 22nd player in league history to score three defensive touchdowns in a single season.
The last defensive player to win the rookie award came in 2010 when Solomon Elimimian took home the honour. McCoil becomes the first Eskimos player to be recognized as the league’s top first-year player since Shalon Baker in 1995.
The native of Metairie, Louisiana received 48 first place votes.
TOM PATE MEMORIAL AWARD
RANDY CHEVRIER, DT
Randy Chevrier is the recipient of this year’s Tom Pate Memorial Award, given to a player who displays qualities that distinguish him from their peers.
Chevrier displayed outstanding sportsmanship on the field this season while making significant contributions to the Stampeders, the City of Calgary and across Alberta.
In addition to serving on the Canadian Cancer Society board, he has acted as a spokesperson for numerous charities and events. He has started a number of community-based initiatives, including a weekly hospital visits program, an Anti-Bullying campaign, and a “Tickled Pink” event which annually raises thousands of dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Chevrier is also a substitute teacher, a High School and youth football coach and a minor hockey coach.