Ticats equal franchise-best mark of nine league all-star selections set in 1964
The Canadian Football League unveiled Wednesday the 2019 CFL All-Stars, which included nine Hamilton Tiger-Cats: wide receivers Brandon Banks and Bralon Addison, offensive tackle Chris Van Zeyl, offensive guard Brandon Revenberg, defensive tackle Dylan Wynn, linebacker Simoni Lawrence, defensive halfback Richard Leonard, safety Tunde Adeleke and kick returner Frankie Williams. The nine CFL all-star nods for the Tiger-Cats equaled a franchise record set in 1964.
*Numbers in parentheses indicate number of career CFL All-Star selections.
Brandon Banks – WR (4)
Banks, 31, earned his fourth CFL All-Star selection and has now been appointed a league all-star twice in his career as a wide receiver (2018, 19) and twice as a kick returner (2014, 15). The 5-7, 150-pound native of Garner, North Carolina was named the CFL’s 2019 Most Outstanding Player after leading the CFL in all major receiving categories, including receptions (112), yards (1,550) and touchdowns (13), as well as targets (158) in 16 games. His 112 receptions also set a Tiger-Cats’ single-season franchise record and 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.
Banks 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.
Bralon Addison – WR (1)
Addison, 25, started 16 games at wide receiver for the Tiger-Cats this season, ranking among the league leaders in all major receiving categories, including receptions (4th – 95), yards (5th – 1,236) and touchdowns (6th – 7), as well as targets (6th – 126). His 95 receptions tied Tony Champion (1989) for the sixth-best single-season total in franchise history. The versatile sophomore receiver also added 36 carries for 218 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, and was named an East Division All-Star for the first time in his career.
Addison was named a CFL Top Performer for Week 12 after posting 11 receptions for a career-high 167 yards and two touchdowns in the Labour Day Classic against the Toronto Argonauts on September 2. The 5-9, 197-pound native of Missouri City, Texas also earned CFL Top Performer of the Month honours for September.
Chris Van Zeyl – OT (3) / Brandon Revenberg – OG (2)
Van Zeyl, 36, earned his third CFL All-Star selection in his first season with the Tiger-Cats, previously earning league all-star honours twice with the Toronto Argonauts (2013, 17). The 6-6, 312-pound native of Fonthill, Ontario started 16 games at right tackle for the Tiger-Cats and was named the CFL’s 2019 Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman as well as a divisional all-star for the sixth time in his career (2013, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19).
Revenberg, 26, started 17 games at left guard for the Tiger-Cats this season and earned his second consecutive CFL and divisional all-star appointments. The 6-4, 301-pound native of Essex, Ontario was also named Hamilton’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 2019 and has yet to miss a game due to injury in his four-year CFL career (2016-19).
Van Zeyl and Revenberg anchored an offensive line that helped Hamilton post league-leading rankings in 2019 in offensive points for (508), offensive points per game (28.2), offensive touchdowns (50), net offence (7,125 yards), net offence per game (395.8 yards), second down conversion percentage (tie-50.5%), average yards per play (6.84), first downs (398), passing yards (5,639), passing yards per game (313.3), average gain per pass (9.0 yards) and 30+ yard pass gains (31).
Dylan Wynn – DT (1)
Wynn, 26, started 17 games at defensive tackle for the Tiger-Cats this season, finishing fourth in the CFL and first among defensive tackles with a career-high 11 quarterback sacks. The 6-2, 283-pound native of Concord, California also registered a career-high 44 defensive tackles en route to earning his second divisional all-star selection (2017, 19). Wynn was named a CFL Top Performer for Week 11 and also took home a CFL Top Performer of the Month nod in August.
Simoni Lawrence – LB (2)
Lawrence, 30, earned his second CFL All-Star selection (2015, 19) after starting 15 games at linebacker for the Tiger-Cats this season and leading the CFL in defensive tackles (98) and defensive plays made (117), while tying a career high with three interceptions and adding four quarterback sacks, seven pass knock downs, one fumble recovery and four tackles for loss. The University of Minnesota product was named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the second time in his career (2015, 19) and earned his fourth divisional all-star selection (2014, 15, 16, 19). He set a CFL single-game record in Week 16 at Winnipeg with 17 defensive tackles (Reggie Hunt – 16) against the Blue Bombers and was named the CFL Top Performer of the Week.
The 6-1, 231-pound native of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania anchored a Tiger-Cats’ defensive unit that allowed a league-low and franchise record 344 points against and just 33 touchdowns in 2019. Lawrence also now holds the Tiger-Cats’ franchise record with 533 career defensive tackles after surpassing Rob Hitchcock (484) earlier this season, and sits second behind Hitchcock (606) in total tackles with 551.
Richard Leonard – HB (1) / Tunde Adeleke – S (1)
Leonard, 28, started all 18 regular season games at field halfback for Hamilton and finished tied for seventh in the league with four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. The 5-8, 173-pound native of Miami, Florida added 55 defensive tackles, two forced fumbles, eight pass knock downs, one fumble recovery and two tackles for loss on his way to a second-career divisional all-star nod (2017, 19).
Adeleke, 24, started 15 games at safety for the Tiger-Cats in 2019, setting career highs in defensive tackles (52), total tackles (57) and interceptions (2). The 5-10, 208-pound native of Ottawa, Ontario added two pass knock downs and two tackles for loss on the season, earning an East Division All-Star nod for the first time in his career.
Leonard and Adeleke anchored the secondary of a Tiger-Cats defensive unit that accounted for the CFL’s second-most pass knockdowns (73) and third-most turnovers forced (44) in 2019.
Frankie Williams – KR (1)
Williams, 26, won the 2019 John Agro Award as the league’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player after ranking among CFL leaders in numerous kick return categories, including first in punt return yardage (949), 30+ yard punt returns (10), average yards per kickoff return (24.9) and kickoff return touchdowns (tie-1), second in punt return touchdowns (tie-1) and overall kick return touchdowns (tie-2), and third in average yards per punt return (12.5) and kickoff return yardage (1,071). The 5-9, 190-pound native of Tampa, Florida finished fourth in the CFL in combined yards (2,020) and was the only player without a single yard from scrimmage in the top 10 in that category.
Williams, who also started at defensive back in 16 of his 17 appearances (15 at field corner, one at boundary halfback) for the Tiger-Cats this season, finished second in the CFL in pass knockdowns with 14, and added 50 defensive tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.
The CFL All-Stars were selected by the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and the league’s head coaches. This is the 57th year in which the CFL has named an All-Star team in recognition of the season’s best performers. In total, 49 voters selected the 27 All-Stars this season.