Argos’ pass-rusher Charleston Hughes named team captain for first time in CFL career

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

The Toronto Argonauts have named Charleston Hughes a team captain for the first time in his 13-year CFL career.

“He was one of the top guys picked,” said head coach Ryan Dinwiddie in a videoconference. “He comes to a new ball club and he’s taken on a leadership role and owned it. Those guys voted him a team captain for a reason.”

The Argos selected their six captains by having everyone on the roster vote for one offensive player, one defensive player, one special teams player, and one additional player of their choice.

Those who were selected are quarterback Nick Arbuckle, quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, defensive end Charleston Hughes, linebacker Henoc Muamba, fullback Declan Cross, and linebacker Bear Woods.

“On the field, you can’t ever question what Charleston does,” said Dinwiddie. “There’s a reason why he’s been so productive. I think he’s doing different things off the field that’s been very impressive in my eyes.”

Hughes has recorded 495 total tackles, 130 sacks, and 30 forced fumbles in 181 career games, but has never been voted a team captain before. Dinwiddie believes there were simply too many other leaders during his previous stops in Calgary and Saskatchewan for him to be named a captain.

“I think it’s a little surprising, but that shows that it’s not all about what’s on the field. He’s probably had a lot of leadership roles, but he’s never been defined as a team captain,” said Dinwiddie.

The first-year head coach feels his defensive front-seven is the team’s greatest strength heading into Week 1. Toronto has CFL veterans such as Hughes, Drake Nevis, and Cordarro Law on the active roster along with a number of former NFL players, including Shane Ray, Shawn Oakman, and Kony Ealy.

“We’ve got a great D-line,” said Dinwiddie. “We have guys we can’t dress this week that are really good players, I still feel comfortable with the guys that are going to be available for us. If you look a the linebacking corps it kind of speaks for itself.”

The Toronto Argonauts open their 2021 regular season with a visit to the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 7 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.