Simmy HOV gets love: Ticats unveil 2021 season award-winners

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have unveiled their team award recipients and league award nominees featuring a familiar face as a dual-winner.

The winners were selected by Hamilton’s voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC), as well as head coach Orlondo Steinauer.

The East and West Division finalists for the 2021 CFL Awards will be announced on Thursday, November 25, while the 2021 CFL Awards will take place on Friday, December 10 at the Hamilton Convention Centre.

MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER & MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER: LB Simoni Lawrence

Lawrence, 32, was named Hamilton’s Most Outstanding Player for the first time in his career, and added his fourth Most Outstanding Defensive Player nod with the Tiger-Cats (2014, 2015, 2019). With one game remaining in the 2021 regular season, the University of Minnesota product has started all 13 games at linebacker for the Tiger-Cats to date and ranks sixth in the CFL in defensive tackles (68), tied for fifth in interceptions (3), and shares the league-lead with two interception return touchdowns.

Lawrence is also tied for seventh in the league in defensive plays made (80), adding four quarterback sacks and three pass knock downs to his totals. Earlier this season, he was named a CFL Top Performer for Week 7 and a CFL Top Performer of the Month in September.

The 6-1, 231-pound native of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania already holds the Tiger-Cats’ franchise record with 597 career defensive tackles and is second in club history with 604 total tackles. He needs just three tackles to surpass current record-holder, Rob Hitchcock, who finished with 606 total tackles in his career as a Ticat. Lawrence also currently sits No. 17 in CFL history with 612 career defensive tackles.

MOST OUTSTANDING CANADIAN: DB Tunde Adeleke

Adeleke, 26, is a nominee for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian for the first time in his career. The 5-10, 208-pound defensive back has started 11 games at safety for the Tiger-Cats in 2021, registering 43 defensive tackles, one quarterback sack, one interception and four pass knock downs. Adeleke, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria but grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, ranks third on the Tiger-Cats in defensive tackles this season despite missing two games due to injury.

*MOST OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: OL Brandon Revenberg

Revenberg, 28, was named Hamilton’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman for the second time in his career, previously earning the honour in 2018 when he was an eventual finalist for the CFL award. The 6-4, 301-pound native of Essex, Ontario has started all 13 games at left guard for the Tiger-Cats so far this season. Through five CFL seasons, the durable offensive lineman has yet to miss a game due to injury (regular season or playoffs) and was the Tiger-Cats’ Most Outstanding Canadian nominee in 2019.

MOST OUTSTANDING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER: LB Nic Cross

Cross, 22, has appeared in 11 games for the Tiger-Cats so far in his rookie CFL season in 2021, registering two defensive tackles and 16 special teams tackles. His 16 special teams tackles ranks him tied for third in the league and just one behind second despite playing in two fewer games than anyone else in the top five in that category. The 5-10, 210-pound native of Regina, Saskatchewan was selected out of the University of British Columbia by the Ticats in the first round, ninth overall, in the 2021 CFL Draft.

MOST OUTSTANDING ROOKIE: DB Desmond Lawrence

Lawrence, 26, has appeared in 10 games for the Tiger-Cats with five starts at boundary corner this season, posting 22 defensive tackles, three special teams tackles, one quarterback sack and two interceptions. The 6-1, 185-pound native of Charlotte, North Carolina originally joined the Tiger-Cats as a free agent signing on February 17, 2021.

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