Matthews nominated as East’s Most Outstanding Rookie

- November 7th, 2012

Chris Matthews isn’t ready to declare himself as the CFLs Most Outstanding Rookie.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver is too humble for that.

But that’s okay, we’ll do it for him.

With all due respect to B.C. Lions defensive lineman Jabar Westerman, Matthews is as close to a lead-pipe lock as you can get when it comes to the 2012 Gibson’s Finest CFL Awards.

As the nominees were officially unveiled on Wednesday, Matthews was the lone member of the Blue and Gold to get a nod.

No surprise there either.

When you go 6-12 and are one of only two teams to miss the CFL playoffs, you aren’t expected to dominate the individual awards.

We spoke with Matthews on Wednesday afternoon from California and he was quite pleased about being nominated for the award.

He dished out plenty of thanks to teammates — especially in the receiving corps — and coaches for showing trust in him and helping make his transition to the CFL game a smooth one.

The numbers themselves are pretty darn impressive: 81 catches, 1,192 receiving yards (six games of 100-plus yards) and seven TDs.

Matthews became the first true Blue Bombers’ rookie in franchise history to eclipse 1,000 yards and his total left him sixth in the CFL in receiving yards.

It’s clear that Matthews easily filled the void created by the departure of fellow giant Greg Carr to the Edmonton Eskimos via free agency (eventually ending up with the Saskatchewan Roughriders).

Matthews, who turned 23 last month, was a great find in free agency and showed tremendous growth after studying at the school of Terrence Edwards, who took a shine to the rookie and helped show him the ropes.

To celebrate the news of his nomination, Matthews picked up a brand new suit to wear at the awards ceremony on Nov. 22 in Toronto.

Matthews is excited to take part in the festivities and plans to stick around for the weekend to see who comes out on top in the 100th Grey Cup game.

“I’m definitely going to be there for the game, I want to see what the outcome is and who wins,” said Matthews. “Whoever does, they deserve it. I can’t wait to see the game. It will be my first Grey Cup game.”

Matthews is hopeful it isn’t the only Grey Cup game he sees — or takes part in, for that matter.

“The first of many, exactly,” said Matthews. “Hopefully, we’re in it next year.”

Here are the nominees for the other categories (we’ll supply predictions for these at a later date):

Most Outstanding Player: Calgary Stampeders RB Jon Cornish vs Toronto Argonauts WR/R Chad Owens

Most Outstanding Canadian: Calgary Stampeders RB Jon Cornish vs Montreal Alouettes LB Shea Emery

Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Edmonton Eskimos LB JC Sherritt vs Montreal Alouettes LB Shea Emery

Most Outstanding Special Teams Player: B.C. Lions R Tim Brown vs Hamilton Tiger-Cats R/WR Chris Williams

Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman: B.C. Lions tackle Jovan Olafioye vs Montreal Alouettes tackle Josh Bourke

Categories: Football

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