TORONTO – The Canadian Football League announced today the team winners for the 2021 CFL Awards. The players were selected by voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and CFL head coaches.
East and West Division winners will be announced on Thursday, November 25, 2021.
The 2021 CFL Awards will be handed out Friday, December 10, 2021 in Hamilton during Grey Cup week.
Toronto’s nominees include:
Most Outstanding Player: McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Bethel-Thompson has suited up for 14 games in 2021, starting nine, while going 203-for-306 for 2,303 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 2019 CFL passing touchdown leader (26) was 7-2 as a starter and helped guide the Argos to nine wins this season and first place in the East for the first time since 2017. The California native and four-year Argo became the seventh-leading passer in Boatmen history this season and has thrown for over 8,500 career yards.
Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman and Most Outstanding Rookie: Peter Nicastro
Nicastro, Toronto’s first-round pick (seventh overall) during the 2021 CFL Draft, was forced into action early in his CFL career and played like a seasoned veteran from day one. The Calgary native started at left guard week one and held that position for four games before an injury to starting centre Phil Blake forced Nicastro into snapping duties. The 6’2, 305-pound lineman started the next seven games at centre before an injury ended his rookie regular season. Starting 11 games your rookie season at two different positions for a first-place team is quite an impressive feat for the 22-year-old.
Most Outstanding Canadian: Kurleigh Gittens Jr.
Gittens Jr., Toronto’s 23rd overall selection in the 2019 CFL Draft, truly broke out in 2021 hauling in 50 catches for 605 yards and four touchdowns. The Wilfrid Laurier product currently sits 12th in CFL receiving yards and second amongst Canadian pass catchers. The Ottawa native leads the Argos in touchdown catches and is second in yards behind Ricky Collins Jr. The 5’11, 191lb receiver had only one catch in 2019 but stayed dedicated to his craft during the cancelled 2020 season and his hard work paid off this season.
Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Dexter McCoil Sr.
McCoil Sr. has been a force for the Argos D all season long, posting 60 defensive tackles, nine special teams tackles, two sacks and two interceptions, including a 71-yard return for a touchdown. The Louisiana native and four-year CFL veteran sits ninth in total tackles in the league this season after only 11 games played due to an injury sustained in week 13. McCoil Sr. was a CFL Top Performer in week 10 after a 12-tackle and one sack performance in a win against the rival Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Most Outstanding Special Teams Player: Boris Bede
Bede, the six-year CFLer, had a sensational season in 2021 making 28-of-33 field goals (85%), including six from 50+ yards, three better than any other kicker in the league this season and two off the all-time record. The CFL’s all-time leader in kickoff average once again led the league in that category with an average of 67.4, including one 95 yard boot. The Laval product’s most iconic moment in 2021 came in week 10 when he launched a 51-yard bomb right down the middle of the uprights as time expired in a 24-23 Argos win at Tim Hortons Field against Hamilton. Bede was named a Top Performer in week 13 after kicking five field goals including two from 50+ in a win vs. B.C.