Defence dominates in Most Outstanding Canadian debate
A pair of linebackers headline the Canadian Football League’s homegrown talent as nominees for the 2019 Most Outstanding Canadian Award.
Montreal Alouettes LB Henoc Muamba and Saskatchewan Roughriders LB Cameron Judge each earned nominations based on their performance throughout the 2019 campaign. Muamba was up for the award back in 2013, while Judge is a first-time nominee in just his third CFL season.
A recipient will be selected on Thursday during the 2019 CFL Awards at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome. One thing is for certain; this will be the first time a defensive player earns the honour since DE Ricky Foley did so in 2009 with the BC Lions.
Muamba, an eight-year CFL veteran, had a monstrous season against opposing offences, finishing second in the league with 93 defensive tackles. That number earned himself the seventh best single-season total in Als’ franchise history, while also contributing a sack, two forced fumbles and three defended passes.
The 30-year-old was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and grew up in Mississauga, Ont.
He provided stability for the East Division’s second-ranked team during the regular season. Ultimately, the Congolese-Canadian was the team’s defensive leader and moulded their identity throughout the season.
Additionally, Muamba was named an East Division All-Star for a second consecutive season.
From the West Division, Judge ranked fourth on the Roughriders’ defence with a career-high 61 defensive tackles and third with five sacks. The native of Montreal added 11 special teams tackles, two interceptions, four defended passes and a forced fumble as well.
Judge was a key component of the Roughriders’ stellar defence that allowed a league-low 321.4 total yards-per-game and second-best 21.4 points-per-game.
At 24-years-old, Judge has plenty of room for growth but has already demonstrated his ability to impact games. The former No. 2 overall pick helped Saskatchewan clinch first place in the West Division after his pick-six sealed a victory over the Edmonton Eskimos in Week 21.
Judge’s statistical improvement from year-to-year signifies that he may be in the Most Outstanding Canadian conversation for years to come.