Wilder Jr. and Whyte lead list of Elks’ team nominees for CFL awards

Edmonton Elks' James Wilder Jr. (32) celebrates a touchdown against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during first half CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday, September 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

The Edmonton Elks unveiled their list of team nominees for the upcoming CFL awards on Wednesday.

Running back James Wilder Jr. is the unanimous choice for the Elks’ Most Outstanding Player. In his first season in green and gold, Wilder Jr. played 11 games, recording 770 rushing yards and scoring two touchdowns.

He has a 5.4 yards rushing average and has recorded 25 rushes of 10 yards or more and five rushes of 20 yards or more. The running back has also picked up 226 receiving yards and scored one touchdown.

Read more: CFL’s top 3 rushers nominated for Most Outstanding Player honour

Edmonton Elks’ Sean Whyte watches his successful field goal kick sail through the uprights during the second half of a CFL football game against the B.C. Lions in Vancouver, on Thursday August 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Kicker Sean Whyte picked up two award nominations and was the unanimous choice for Most Outstanding Special Team Player. He also picked up the nomination for Most Outstanding Canadian.

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Whyte has recorded a field goal percentage of 87 per cent which is second-best in the CFL this season.

Edmonton Elks’ Nyles Morgan (45), Keishawn Bierria (44) and Kwaku Boateng (93) celebrate a tackle on Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (19) during first half CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday September 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken

Linebacker Nyles Morgan takes the nomination for Most Outstanding Rookie, the third player on the list to receive his honour unanimously. Morgan leads the Elks in defensive plays with 68, which includes a team-leading 57 defensive tackles.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ Tim White (12) makes the catch as Edmonton Elks’ Derrick Moncrief (10) tackles him during first half CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday October 29, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

He’s only played eight games for the Elks this season but linebacker Derrick Moncrief has left quite an impression. He’s the team’s nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

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Moncrief signed with the Elks in early September. He’s racked up 20 defensive tackles and four quarterback sacks, which leaves him in a tie for third on the team in that department. Moncrief has also recorded four pass breakups and one tackle for a loss.

Edmonton Elks quarterback Trevor Harris, centre, throws the ball during first half CFL football action against the Calgary Stampeders in Calgary, Monday, Sept. 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The longest-serving member of the Elks, Matt O’Donnell, rounds out the list by getting the nod as the team’s Most Outstanding Lineman.

The nine-year member of the green and gold has played in every game this season and has anchored an offensive line which has helped the Elks reach the third-best rushing total in the CFL.

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