Each team’s top three candidates for Most Outstanding Rookie

The CFL unveiled its official list of players who are eligible for this year’s Most Outstanding Rookie award on Thursday.

Past winners of the award include a number of stars, including DaVaris Daniels, Derel Walker, and Solomon Elimimian.

Below are the top three candidates from each team to take home the league honour.

B.C. Lions

Jevon Cottoy, receiver

The former Langley Ram has 34 receptions for 346 yards and a touchdown this season, while also providing the Lions with solid downfield blocking.

Kevin Haynes, linebacker

The Central Washington product has 28 defensive tackles, 13 special teams tackles, and one sack in nine games this season.

Phillip Norman, centre

The 24-year-old has started the past nine games in B.C., helping settle a struggling offensive line.

Hodge’s pick: Cottoy

Edmonton Eskimos

Mathieu Betts, defensive end

Betts has played well since he was cut by the Chicago Bears, making four tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble.

Vontae Diggs, linebacker

The 23-year-old has 64 tackles, nine special teams tackles, two sacks, and one interception in 15 starts this season.

Kyle Saxelid, offensive tackle

The UNLV product has three starts this season, including two at the all-important left tackle position.

Hodge’s pick: Diggs

Calgary Stampeders

Chris Casher, defensive end

The Alabama native has 26 tackles, five sacks, and one forced fumble in 12 starts for the Stampeders.

Nate Holley, linebacker

The rangy linebacker has been a force this season, making 60 defensive tackles, 18 special teams tackles, and one sack.

Raheem Wilson, defensive back

The 25-year-old has started 13 games at field-side cornerback, making 31 tackles, one interception, and a forced fumble.

Hodge’s pick: Holley

Saskatchewan Roughriders

Charbel Dabire, defensive tackle

The Wagner product has five tackles and one sack from his nose tackle spot; he is slated to make his first CFL start on Friday.

Oluwaseun Idowu, linebacker

The 23-year-old hasn’t started any games this year, but has still produced 15 tackles, four special teams tackles, and one sack.

Dakoda Shepley, guard

Shepley has been a key contributor to a strong Saskatchewan offensive line, making 14 starts.

Hodge’s pick: Shepley

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Drew Desjarlais, guard

The former Lancer beat out Geoff Gray and Cody Speller for a main role on Winnipeg’s offensive line, starting the past eight games.

Kerfalla-Emmanuel Exumé, special teams

The Montreal product has 23 special teams tackles this season, trailing teammate Mike Miller by one.

Kenny Lawler, receiver

The California product made Chris Matthews expendable in Winnipeg, catching 36 passes for 537 yards and two touchdowns.

Hodge’s pick: Exumé

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Jaelon Acklin, receiver

Acklin has started every game for the Tiger-Cats since Week 2, making 47 receptions for 595 yards and three touchdowns.

Nikola Kalinic, fullback

‘Big Serb’ made a number of key blocks this year along with ten catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.

Marcus Tucker, receiver

Playing a combination of wideout and slotback, Tucker has 424 yards and two touchdowns on 33 receptions in nine starts.

Hodge’s pick: Acklin

Toronto Argonauts

Matt Boateng, defensive back

The Fresno State product started three games at field-side cornerback this year, making eight tackles.

Kennan Gilchrist, defensive end

The 25-year-old has three sacks and an interception this season, recently earning a spot in Toronto’s starting lineup.

Robbie Smith, defensive end

The Wilfrid Laurier product has started five games in his first season, recording three sacks and a forced fumble.

Hodge’s pick: Smith

Ottawa Redblacks

Devonte Dedmon, return specialist

The diminutive returner has been one of few bright spots in Ottawa this season, recording two return touchdowns.

De’Andre Farris, defensive back

The converted receiver has made a name for himself in the Redblacks’ secondary, making ten starts at field-side halfback.

Jerod Fernandez, linebacker

The hard-hitting linebacker has 44 tackles and two forced fumbles in eight starts this season, splitting time with Avery Williams and Jeff Knox Jr.

Hodge’s pick: Fernandez

Montreal Alouettes

Chris Schleuger, offensive tackle

The 24-year-old has nine starts this year and recently moved to the left side following a season-ending injury to Tony Washington.

Antonio Simmons, defensive end

The Georgia Tech product has missed just one start this season, recording 39 tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble opposite John Bowman.

Jake Wieneke, receiver

The six-foot-four target has started every game this year for Montreal, catching six touchdown passes.

Hodge’s pick: Wieneke

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