Ricky Foley (Riders) This defensive end was the Most Valuable Canadian in last year’s Grey Cup victory for the Toronto Argonauts, and he has a real chip on his shoulder after the Double Blue decided not to re-sign him. The one-time CFL sack leader also earned a ring with the ’06 Lions and has been known to amp it up in big games.
Jamall Johnson (Ticats) This veteran linebacker is one of the few defensive players to have survived the massive player changeover in Hamilton that came with a new staff, and for good reason. He’s one of the hardest-hitting defenders in the CFL and team leader.
Darian Durant (Riders) The pain of losing both the 2009 and 2010 Grey Cups by a combined four points still burns this quarterback, and he hungers after that elusive prize at home in Rider-crazy Regina. Burris isn’t the only one who frightens defences with his legs.
Henry Burris (Ticats) This 38-year-old pivot last won the 2008 Grey Cup in Calgary before later being demoted, then traded to Hamilton. He was a true threat on the ground and through the air in the East Division final and is motivated to help write his legacy by winning titles with multiple franchises.
Chris Getzlaf (Riders) This slotback had more receiving yards this season than anyone else in this matchup with 1,045. He was a rookie playing for Hamilton back in ’07 when the Riders last won a title, and has suffered the Grey Cup losses only since joining Saskatchewan.
Andy Fantuz (Ticats) The former Rider once beloved in Regina and known for his Fantuz Flakes will no doubt he booed. While he’s part of a receiving group that shares the ball a lot, this slotback was a favourite target in last week’s East Division final, catching 11 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
Kory Sheets (Riders) This second-year CFL running back was on pace to break Mike Pringle’s single-season record of 2,065 rushing yards until he hurt his knee mid-year. But he returned driven and with a more team-centred attitude. He carried the ball 28 times for 177 yards and a touchdown in the West final.
C.J. Gable (Ticats) Teammates have called this rookie the best blocking back in the CFL. The former USC tailback was out of football for two seasons before this year. Some games, he’ll roll for 100 yards, some he’ll mainly block or catch passes. The Ticats’ use of Gable keeps opponents guessing.
Corey Chamblin (Riders) This former NFL defensive back is in his first Grey Cup as a head coach, but he was a secondary coach of the 2008 Stampeders, who held the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Anthony Calvillo without a touchdown pass to beat the Alouettes in the title game.
Kent Austin (Ticats) This first-year Ticats boss has won Cups as a quarterback, assistant coach and a head coach. He’s known for clever, unpredictable offensive packages of late, so you might see him switching up quarterbacks regularly to keep the Riders on their toes. Then again, maybe he won’t.