Best in the West: Seven Stamps Honoured
Seven members of the Calgary Stampeders - running back Ka'Deem Carey, receiver Kamar Jorden, centre Sean McEwen, defensive lineman Mike Rose, linebacker Darnell Sankey, kicker Rene Paredes and punter Cody Grace have been voted as 2021 Canadian Football League West Division all-stars.
The all-stars were determined by voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) as well as one vote from each West Division team's coaching staff.
It's a fifth division all-star honour for Paredes, who was previously recognized in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017. Meanwhile, Australia native Grace becomes the first player with a global designation to be an all-star.
In addition to Grace, Carey, Rose and Sankey are all first-time division all-stars while Jorden and McEwen are honoured for a second time.
Here's a closer look at the all-star Stamps:
Carey: In his first full season as the Stampeders' starting tailback, Carey led CFL running backs with seven rushing touchdowns and was second both in rushing yards (869) and yards from scrimmage (1,063). Carey started 13 games and in addition to his 869 rushing yards on 164 carries (an average of 5.3 yards per attempt) he had 26 catches for 194 yards. The University of Arizona alum has a pair of 100-yard rushing games and he was named a CFL top performer in Week 10 after accumulating 178 yards from scrimmage in a win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Jorden: Despite missing three full games and most of a fourth with a hamstring injury, Jorden was among the CFL's leading receivers with 767 yards and four touchdowns on 53 catches. Jorden had nine catches for 123 yards in the Labour Day Classic against the Elks and 12 catches - a career high - for 159 yards and a touchdown in the rematch in Edmonton five days later. The Bowling Green product was previously a division all-star in 2018.
McEwen: While injuries forced shuffling at other positions on the Calgary offensive line, McEwen was a fixture at centre and started all 14 games. In addition to making all the line calls, the former University of Calgary standout served as one of the Stamps' team captains and was the linchpin of a line that allowed the second-fewest sacks in the CFL and paved the way for Ka'Deem Carey, who led all CFL running backs in rushing touchdowns. McEwen was an East Division all-star in 2017 as a member of the Toronto Argonauts.
Rose: The North Carolina State alum started 13 games at defensive tackle and was a key figure in the Stamps' second-half resurgence as Calgary overcame a 2-5 start to claim a playoff berth. Rose led all CFL interior linemen with seven sacks and he had 24 tackles including three tackles for loss and three knockdowns.
Sankey: The first-year player from Sacramento State led the CFL with 97 defensive tackles, becoming just the third Stampeder to lead the league in that category since tackles became an official stat in 1987. Four of Sankey's tackles were for a loss and he also had one sack, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one special-teams tackle and four knockdowns.
Paredes: The 10-year veteran led the league with 155 points, 44 field goals and a 91.7-per cent success rate on three-pointers. It's the fifth season the Concordia Stingers product has hit better than 90 per cent of his field goals and he owns the CFL record for career field-goal accuracy. Paredes twice kicked a career-high six field goals in a game this season and he had two game-winning kicks on the final play of the game - in Week 10 at Saskatchewan and in Week 16 against Winnipeg. He finished the regular season with a streak of 19 consecutive successful field goals.
Grace: The rookie led the CFL with a net punting average of 41.5 yards and not once during the season did he kick the ball into the end-zone for a field position-compromising single. He punted the ball 78 times for a gross average of 45.6 yards and eight times he pinned opponents inside their own 10-yard line. In addition to his punting duties, the Arkansas State alumnus also served as the holder for fellow all-star Paredes.
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