Ex-Wildcat Matthews named CFL Rookie of the Year

TORONTO -- Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Chris Matthews was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie at the 2012 Gibson’s Finest Player Awards on Thursday night.

Matthews was stellar in his rookie campaign, finishing the regular season with 81 receptions for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns, all of which were team-highs among receivers.

His yardage total was good enough for sixth best in the league and his 14.7 yards per catch was the fourth best among receivers who caught over 60 passes.

“It means everything to me," said Matthews. "For people to vote for me and say that I’m the Rookie of the Year, it means that I did the best that I can and to perform and the best I can for people to like me.”

Matthews became an immediate star this season, recording two 100-yard games within the first three weeks and six 100-yard games overall. He hauled in at least seven catches in five different regular season games.

“It didn’t come so easy for me at all, it was very hard," said Matthews. "When I first started I was worried about just trying to make the team, everything else just kind of fell into place.”

“I’m thankful that they brought me in and allowed me to showcase my talent.”

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.

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