AND THE NOMINEES ARE….
Earlier today the nominees for the 2021 CFL Awards were announced with six Roughriders being nominated. The CFL Awards happen each year during the Grey Cup Festival. This year, the awards will be on Friday, December 10th at the Hamilton Convention Centre. For the first time since the league began recognizing the premier performances of players and personnel, the awards ceremony will be free and open to the public. Fans can reserve their spot at greycupfestival.ca
The nominees from the Saskatchewan Roughriders are: Cody Fajardo (Most Outstanding Player), Loucheiz Purifoy (Most Outstanding Defensive Player), Brett Lauther (Most Outstanding Special-Teams Player), Micah Teitz (Most Outstanding Canadian), Dan Clark (Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman), and Kian Schaffer-Baker (Most Outstanding Rookie).
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Cody Fajardo’s second season as the starting quarterback of the Saskatchewan Roughriders has culminated to his second team award nomination for Most Outstanding Player. Fajardo has led the team to a 9-4 season and became the fastest quarterback in Roughrider history to earn 20 wins. The 29-year-old pivot started all 13 games so far this season and thrown for 2,970 yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s added 468 yards on 78 carries and four rushing touchdowns. Fajardo was named a CFL Top Performer in week 2, 3 and 8 and was the Top Performer of the Month in August.
MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER
Loucheiz Purifoy has been a force on the Roughriders defence all season, playing in multiple positions and excelling in all of them. Purifoy started the season at defensive halfback before taking over at safety midway through the season. A leader on defence, Purifoy flies all over the field to make a play and is also routinely seen lined up at sam linebacker. Over 12 games played, the 28-year-old has amassed 39 defensive tackles, three special teams tackles and two interceptions. This is Purifoy’s first career team award nomination.
MOST OUTSTANDING SPECIAL-TEAMS PLAYER
Lauther connected on 39 of 46 field goal attempts (85%) including three greater than 50 yards. Lauther was perfect on field goal attempts in nine games this season, including four games where he went 4 for 4. His longest field goal – a 54 yarder – was scored against Winnipeg on September 5th. The 31-year-old is also 18 of 19 on one-point converts and has scored 137 total points for the team this season. In addition, Lauther has kicked off 46 times this season for 2,803 yards and an average of 62.3 yards. Lauther was the Roughriders nominee for Most Outstanding Special Teams Player and Most Outstanding Canadian in 2018.
MOST OUTSTANDING CANADIAN
Starting in all 13 games this season, Micah Teitz has been a strong presence in the Roughriders linebacker corps and a solid contributor on special teams. Over his 13 games, the will linebacker is the team leader in defensive tackles with 64 and added seven special teams tackles and three sacks. Teitz has also been a strong part of the Roughriders run defence which has allowed the fewest rushing yards in the league and tallied four tackles for loss, the third best total on the team. This is Teitz’s first career team award nomination.
MOST OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
A stalwart on the Roughrider offensive line, this is Dan Clark’s second consecutive season as the Roughrider nominee for Most Outstanding Lineman. A natural leader and Grey Cup champion with nine seasons under his belt, he has provided a veteran presence to a young offensive line. Clark has fought through injury and started all 13 games played this season.
MOST OUTSTANDING ROOKIE
Kian Schaffer-Baker was selected by the Roughriders in the fourth round, 30th overall, of the 2020 CFL Draft and went on to wait an entire year to make his CFL Debut. He first drew into the line-up in Week 3 and hasn’t missed a game since, providing a reliable big body on offence. Over 11 games played, Schaffer-Baker has caught 45 receptions for 550 yards, including a 107 yard game against the Calgary Stampeders in week 9. He’s also added two touchdowns and holds a 13.6 yards per catch average.
*denotes unanimous selection
In this first ballot, FRC representatives from each CFL city plus the respective head coach submitted votes for the six categories. Voters were asked to select players from their local CFL club who, through on-field performance excellence, best represent the awards titled – Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Canadian Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman, Most Outstanding Rookie, and Most Outstanding Special-Teams Player.
The East and West Division finalists for the 2021 CFL Awards will be announced on Thursday, November 25.