The Winnipeg Blue Bombers intend to be the west division representative during Grey Cup Week in Calgary later this month. But three members of the team will be going to Cowtown for sure, as Willie Jefferson, Stanley Bryant, and Mike Miller are the finalists for Outstanding Defensive Player, Outstanding Offensive Lineman and Outstanding Special Teams Player.
For Jefferson, it’s his first nomination as a Division finalist while Bryant is gunning for what would be a record third consecutive award as the league’s top O Lineman.
Jefferson is coming off a career year of 12 quarterback sacks in addition to setting a CFL record with 16 pass knockdowns. The 28-year-old from Beaumont, TX also had one interception and six forced fumbles, earning his second straight team nomination for Most Outstanding Player and Outstanding Defensive Player. He’ll be up against Hamilton Linebacker Simoni Lawrence.
Bryant, who has been the Blue Bombers nominee for Outstanding Offensive Lineman in four of his five seasons with the team, has also not missed a game during that stretch as the main pass protector on the quarterback’s blind side at Left Tackle.
The eastern finalist is Tiger Cats Offensive Tackle Chris Van Zeyl.
Miller tied with rookie Kerfalla Exume for the team lead in Special Teams tackles with 25. That was just two behind Frank Beltre of Toronto for the league lead.
With 185 career special teams tackles, Miller is just five behind the CFL’s all-time leader in that category, former BC Lion Jason Aragki. The Eastern finalist is yet another Tiger Cat in returner Frankie Williams.
The remaining category finalists are Saskatchewan Quarterback Cody Fajardo and Hamilton Receiver Brandon Banks for Most Outstanding Player. Linebackers Cameron Judge of Saskatchewan and Henoc Muamba of Montreal for Most Outstanding Canadian. Rookie of the Year Finalists are the Stampeders Nate Holley and Jake Wieneke of Montreal. And Saskatchewan’s Craig Dickenson or Orlando Steinauer of Hamilton will be named Coach of the Year.
The winners will be announced two weeks from today during the CFL Annual Awards Ceremony scheduled for November 21 in Calgary.