After battling post-concussion syndrome, Shea Emry has bounced back in a big way.
The 26-year-old Richmond native has been recognized for his outstanding play at middle linebacker by being named a finalist for two CFL Outstanding Player Awards. Emry will be up against Calgary running back Jon Cornish for Top Canadian and Edmonton linebacker JC Sherrett for Top Defensive Player when the awards are handed out during Grey Cup Week in Toronto.
Last season, Emry picked up his second concussion in two years in a game against Calgary in late August. He was slated to return to the line-up three weeks later by suffered a relapse. He didn't feel himself again into well into 2012 training camp.
"I didn't know for sure that I would be able to play at the same level," he said. "There was mental stress for a while there, but now I feel better than ever. It's been a blessing in disguise to have football taken away from me for a while. It got me to work on myself as a football player and as a human being."
The Vancouver College graduate tallied a team-high and career best 87 defensive tackles this season, including seven sacks, leaving him in fifth in the CFL in both categories respectively. He added seven tackles on special teams.
Emry also scored his first career CFL touchdown this season, returning an interception 46 yards in a win over Toronto in Week 16, which helped the Alouettes clinch a home playoff game. He was named the league's Canadian Player of the Week on two occasions this season.
He was also named an Eastern Division all-star on Thursday.