MONTREAL - The Canadian Football League announced on Wednesday the Montreal Alouettes' nominees for the 2012 Most Outstanding Player awards as selected by the voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and CFL head coaches.
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: ANTHONY CALVILLO
Alouettes all-star quarterback, Anthony Calvillo earns his tenth nomination as the team's Most Outstanding Player. Pro football's all-time passing leader surpassed the 5,000-yard plateau for the seventh time in his illustrious career, becoming the only player in CFL history to accomplish the feat.
This season, Calvillo threw for over 300 yards for a league-record eight straight games, breaking the record he previously shared with Doug Flutie. The 40 year-old quarterback showed no signs of his age as he amassed 11 games with 300-plus passing yards for the second consecutive year. The Alouettes are 9-2 this season when it's the case. He currently leads the CFL in passing yards (5,082) and ranks second in touchdown passes (31). He has also thrown at least one touchdown pass in every game this season.
The veteran pivot also surprised opponents with his legs in 2012, running in two touchdowns in a single game for the first time in his 19-year CFL career, from 14 yards and 22 yards out respectively, on October 20 against Saskatchewan.
Named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player in 2003, 2008 and 2009, Calvillo was also a finalist for the award in 2002, 2004, 2010 and 2011.
MOST OUSTANDING DEFENSIVE AND CANADIAN PLAYER: SHEA EMRY
Montreal's standout linebacker Shea Emry earns his first nomination as the Alouettes' Most Outstanding Defensive and Canadian Player following a season filled with personal bests.
The Richmond, BC native has now tallied a team-high and career best 82 defensive tackles this season, including seven sacks, leaving him in sixth and tied for fifth in the CFL in both categories respectively.
The team's defensive ace also scored his first career CFL touchdown in 2012, returning an interception 46 yards in a win over Toronto in week 16, which helped the Alouettes clinch a home playoff game. The 26-year-old is the only Alouettes' defender to score a major in 2012.
He was named the league's weekly Top Canadian on two occasions this season.
MOST OUTSTANDING ROOKIE: PATRICK LAVOIE
The Alouettes' top draft pick of the 2012 CFL Canadian Draft quickly won the confidence of veteran pivot Anthony Calvillo especially in the red zone. Four of his first 12 catches were for touchdowns including a game-winner in Week 3 against the Calgary Stampeders. He recorded his first CFL touchdown on July 6 against Winnipeg at Percival Molson Stadium.
The Laval University product sits in sixth place on the team in touchdowns with four, tied with Brian Bratton, and has registered 294 yards on 32 receptions. Even as a rookie, he has seen a lot of playing time as he has been an important part of the team's blocking scheme which has helped Anthony Calvillo lead the league in passing yards this season.
MOST OUTSTANDING LINEMAN: JOSH BOURKE
Josh Bourke earns his third consecutive nomination as the Alouettes' Most Outstanding Lineman. Bourke plays an integral part on the Alouettes' offensive line which has only allowed 25 sacks - fewest in the league this season. The 30-year-old also helped the Alouettes offensive line rank first in passing yards and most touchdowns scored in the CFL.
All season long, the Windsor, ON native helped his teammates on the offensive line give Anthony Calvillo plenty of time to find open receivers as the later leads the CFL in passing yards and is second for touchdown passes this season.
MOST OUTSTANDING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER: KYRIES HEBERT
Safety Kyries Hebert has been a special teams standout for the Alouettes since joining the team this off-season. Hebert is one of the team's most productive special teams players, leading the CFL with 26 tackles, while also distributing hard blocks during kick returns.
The product of Louisiana-Lafayette tallied a season-high four special teams tackles back in Week 3 and recorded at least one tackle in 13 games. He also recovered an onside field goal in Week 12 which helped keep an offensive drive alive. What makes Hebert's special teams play that more impressive is that he has been the team's starting safety all season, never missing a beat on defence as well as on most special teams' situations.