Riders receiver Jordan Williams-Lambert has been named the CFL West’s top rookie.
The Ball State product had a team-leading 62 catches in 2018 for 764 yards and four touchdowns.
He will go up against Ottawa kicker Lewis Ward for the league award with the winner being announced on Grey Cup week.
The last Rider to be named the West’s top rookie was Weston Dressler in 2008.
Speaking with reporters after a closed practice Wednesday, Williams-Lambert talked about how appreciative he and other rookie receivers Shaq Evans and Kyran Moore have been for the opportunity to show what they could do.
“I thank the coaches for blessing us with the opportunity because not all rookies get an opportunity to play their first year.” Williams-Lambert said. “They trusted us with that opportunity and we took it and ran with it.”
Meanwhile, Chris Jones has been named the Western Division’s top coach for the third time in his five years as a CFL head coach.
Under Jones’ leadership, the Riders have shown significant improvement each year. After a five-win rebuilding season in 2016, the Riders jumped to 10 wins and back into the playoffs last season. The 12 wins in 2018 secured the Riders a home playoff game for the first time since 2013 with the team going 9-2 in their final 11 games.
While he welcomes the nomination, Jones is quick to share in the success he has had.
“I’ve had the good fortune of being around some really good folks,” Jones said. “I’ve got a good staff and good players.”
Jones will go up against Ottawa’s Rick Campbell in the final voting.
The last Rider coach to win coach of the year honour was Corey Chamblin in 2013.