Hamilton Tiger-Cat Chris Williams is the CFL East division's most outstanding special teams player of the year. He'll vie for the CFL prize in that category against west division nominee Tim Brown from the B.C. Lions.

Williams set a CFL with record with six kick return touchdowns. He also tied the league single-season record with five punt return touchdowns and returned 78 punts for 1,117 yards. Williams was the 2011 CFL most outstanding rookie.

Williams received the nominations Wednesday in voting conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and the eight CFL head coaches.

Other award nominees include Calgary Stampeders running back Jon Cornish and receiver/kick-returner Chad Owens of the Toronto Argonauts are the finalists for the CFL's outstanding player award.

Cornish ran for a CFL-high 1,457 yards this season, becoming the first Canadian to lead the league in rushing since 1988.

The native of New Westminster, B.C., also broke Norm Kwong's 56-year-old record for yards rushing in a season by a Canadian of 1,437.

Owens set a pro football record of 3,863 all-purpose yards and also led the CFL in receiving (94 catches, 1,328 yards, six TDs) and kickoff returns (71 for 1,588 yards).

Cornish and Montreal linebacker Shea Emry, of Richmond, B.C., are double finalists.

They're nominated for the CFL's top Canadian award while Emry is up against Edmonton linebacker J.C. Sherritt for outstanding defensive player honours.

Montreal's Josh Bourke and B.C.'s Jovan Olafioye are outstanding lineman finalists for the second straight year after Bourke won it last season.

Winnipeg receiver Chris Matthews and Lions defensive lineman Jabar Westerman are top rookie nominees while Hamilton's Chris Williams and B.C.'s Tim Brown will vie for outstanding special-teams player honours.

The CFL honours its top performers Nov. 22 in Toronto.