Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver Chris Matthews has been named the CFL East Division’s Most Outstanding Rookie.
Matthews, who led the Bombers in receiving, will now be up against B.C. Lions’ defensive lineman Jabar Westerman for the league’s most outstanding rookie award which will be presented during the Grey Cup week in Toronto.
"It means a lot. There's a lot of good players in the CFL and for me to be up for rookie-of-the-year is a real honour," said Matthews, in a telephone interview from his home in California.
Matthews started all 18 games for the Bombers at wide receiver. He led the team in the regular season with 81 receptions for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns.
He was sixth overall in the CFL in receiving yards and his 14.7 yards per catch was the fourth best among receivers who caught over 60 passes. Matthews is the first Blue Bomber to represent the East Division for this award since defensive back Jonathan Hefney did so in 2009. The last Bomber to take home the top prize was defensive end Gavin Walls in 2005.
The East and West Player Award winners were selected by 70 voters, including members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and CFL head coaches. The 2012 Gibson’s Finest CFL Player Awards will be handed out on Nov. 22 at Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto.