Riders’ Charleston Hughes feels snubbed for West MODP nomination

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Riders defensive end Charleston Hughes has been open about his feelings watching Bombers disruptor Willie Jefferson earn the West Division Most Outstanding Defensive Player nod.

“Of course I feel snubbed. You read Twitter, right?” Hughes said with a laugh.

Hughes has a case to be made with 50 tackles, his league-leading 16 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown in 17 games. Somehow Hughes has never won even a CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award.

Jefferson had a spectacular season leading the league in pass knockdowns (16) and forced fumbles (6) to go along with 12 sacks, but there were times when the freak defender grew quiet in big games. He had 24 tackles and one interception to round out his totals through 18 contests.

The last defensive lineman to win the CFL MODP award was former Rider John Chick in 2009. That year Chick recorded 28 tackles, 11 sacks and four forced fumbles. Hughes’ numbers are better than what Chick did when he claimed the award. And Hughes bested Jefferson in two key categories: tackles and sacks.

“Willie did everything he was expected to do this year, I felt like he played great. I don’t think he beat me out. It was more he was just nominated, that’s a different thing rather than being beat out,” Hughes said.

“All you can do is just pay attention to how everything falls in front of you and how the picture is being painted. Picture’s being painted a certain way then you just look at it and move on. I led the league in sacks the last four years and sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”

The 35-year-old Hughes would rather add another Grey Cup to his resume. However, it’s easy to see why Hughes feels slighted.