November 16, 2023

Mathieu Betts Wins CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award

CFL BC Lions vs Calgary, Photo Paul Yates

Mathieu Betts has been honoured for his record-breaking 2023 season as the Lion defensive end won CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player on Thursday evening. Betts beat out Toronto’s Adarius Pickett for the award.

 “I’m really happy and proud to be the recipient of this award, and to be enshrined with a long list of Lions and CFL greats that were honoured before me,” said Betts.

“To be recognized as one of the best in the league is very special. I am very grateful to Rick Campbell, Ryan Phillips, John Bowman, and our entire defence for helping me elevate my game. I also couldn’t be here without the love and support of my parents, Cynthia and Martin, as well as my fiancée, Camille. They have all been here throughout my entire journey, through the ups and downs.”

The 28-year-old Montreal native recorded a CFL-best 18 sacks in 2023, setting a new Canadian mark previously shared by BC Lions legend Brent Johnson (2005) and Jamaal Westerman who tied the record with Winnipeg in 2015. Betts was also the first Lion to lead the league in sacks since Keron Williams in 2012.

Betts becomes the eighth player in franchise history to win Most Outstanding Defensive Player following Bill Baker (1976), James ‘Quick’ Parker (1984 and 1986), Greg Stumon (1987), Brent Johnson (2006), Cameron Wake (2007 and 2008), Solomon Elimimian (2014 and 2016), and Adam Bighill (2015).

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