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The Canadian Football League unveiled the 2018 teams’ Most Outstanding Players on Wednesday, and national linebacker Henoc Muamba received a unanimous triple nomination from voters as the Alouettes Most Outstanding Canadian Player, Defensive Player and Outstanding Player. Running back William Stanback was elected the team’s Most Outstanding Rookie and Most Outstanding Special Teams Player nominations, while veteran Kristian Matte was unanimously voted the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman.
Muamba, who was one the CFL’s most sought after free agents last winter, is having a 2018 season to remember as he leads the team and the division with 100 defensive tackles. The 31-year-old also registered five quarterback sacks and 11 tackles for losses, while forcing a fumble and recovering one. Playing in the city he grew up in, Muamba showed he could also excel in coverage as he intercepted one pass he returned for 39 yards, while knocking down another. The linebacker was also voted the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2013, as well as the team’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 2012 and 2013.
Stanback amassed 508 rushing yards on 75 runs, maintaining an average of 6.8 yards per carry, on top of catching 20 passes for 210 yards and two majors in only six starts. The 24-year-old also amassed 464 yards on 19 kickoff returns. Stanback leads all East Division rookies with 1,182 combined yards in 14 games.
Always versatile, Kristian Matte made 15 starts at centre as well as two at guard in 2018, helping the team deal with injuries and changes which affected the offensive line. Despite of all that, the offensive line anchored by Matte helped the Alouettes’ offence rank first in the CFL with an average of 5.8 yards per carry. The team also ranks fourth with 1,763 rushing yards. This marks Matte’s third consecutive nomination as the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman.
The award recipients were selected by voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and CFL head coaches.
The East and West Division winners for the 2018 Shaw CFL Awards will be announced on Thursday, November 8. The 2018 Shaw CFL Awards will take place on Thursday, November 22 in Edmonton, Alberta at Winspear.