Schoen the way: Is Dalton a lock for Most Outstanding Rookie?
It is getting to that time of year in the CFL. We are at the sharp end of the regular season with teams either in the playoffs or on the periphery. Which also means that awards season is coming into focus. Including, for the first time, fan-voting for the League All-Stars.
All of which focuses the mind on who should win what silverware. It looks like reigning MOP Zach Collaros is currently in prime position to retain the award. But one man who has had a fabulous season is his teammate, CFL rookie wide receiver Dalton Schoen.
It does seem as though Schoen, who has previously been on the periphery of NFL teams, is surely the leading candidate for Most Outstanding Rookie.
Schoen the way all season long
Dalton Schoen started well enough with 5 catches totaling 69 yards in the first game of the season. But his early season form belied what was to come later. Over the next 2 weeks he had just 3 catches. But he exploded into life against the BC Lions in week 5 with 8 catches for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns.
At this stage of the season, Schoen has 64 grabs for a league leading 1,275 yards and has 14 touchdowns. For a little historical context the most receiving yards by a rookie in the CFL stands at 1,530 yards set by Matt Clark in 1991. Schoen trails by 256 yards with a potential 2 games to play (depending on if Winnipeg rest him). He is also currently third all time for most TD grabs by a rookie behind the 18 mark set by David Williams in 1988.
Not to mention, 39 of Schoen’s 64 catches have been for second down conversions. He is seven receptions short of passing Ben Cahoon’s record of 45 set in 2004.
Schoen leads the league with five 100 yard + receiving games, tallying the 177 against BC mentioned above, 146 yards against Edmonton in week 7 and over the past three weeks hitting marks of 158, 125 and 162 yards.
In other circumstances he may be put forward for team MOP. As we have seen however, the CFL MOP award favours the pivots. Particularly rewarding top quarterback play. QB’s have taken home the trophy 40 times.
But when it comes to the Most Outstanding Rookie Award, can we really look past Dalton Schoen? I think not. He leads his team in all relevant receiving categories and is on a record setting pace for rookie receivers.
It will be interesting to see if Winnipeg (who are home and dry for hosting the West Final) play him to chase the records, or rest him as a key cog in their championship run.
Banner image: Dalton Schoen makes another grab. Image from Blue Review on xtru.compuinter.com