League’s leading receiver becomes first Ticat to earn CFL’s top honour since Danny McManus in 1999

The Canadian Football League (CFL) announced Thursday that Hamilton Tiger-Cats wide receiver Brandon Banks has been named the 2019 Most Outstanding Player.

Banks, 31, started 16 games at wide receiver for the Tiger-Cats in 2019 and set career highs while leading the CFL in all major receiving categories, including receptions (112), yards (1,550) and touchdowns (13), as well as targets (158). His 112 receptions also set a Tiger-Cats’ single-season franchise record. He was named a divisional all-star for the sixth consecutive season (2014-19), earning the nod for the third time as a wide receiver after three-straight as a kick returner.

The 5-7, 150-pound native of Garner, North Carolina also recorded 13 carries for 56 yards and one rushing touchdown, 13 punt returns for 140 yards, and five missed field goal returns for 283 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, Banks registered 16 total touchdowns this season, just one shy of Chris Williams’ franchise record of 17 set in 2012. He now holds the CFL record with five-career missed field goal return touchdowns, and became Hamilton’s all-time punt return yardage leader (2,954) while also moving into second in franchise history behind Earl Winfield in both total touchdowns (60) and combined yards (12,959). Winfield had 87 career touchdowns and 14,798 combined yards as a Tiger-Cat.

The Kansas State product received 41 first-place votes to win the award over West Division nominee Cody Fajardo of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and becomes the fifth Tiger-Cat to take home Most Outstanding Player honours, joining Danny McManus (1999), Jimmy Edwards (1977), Garney Henley (1972) and Bernie Faloney (1961). Banks, who was also the CFL’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player in 2015, becomes the ninth receiver to win the league’s top award and first since Chad Owens in 2012.

The 2019 CFL Awards were handed out on Thursday night at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta. The winners were selected by a panel of voters, including representation from the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) from all nine CFL markets, members of the national chapter of the FRC and the head coaches of the CFL. In total, 50 ballots were completed.

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