Ticats top franchise-best mark of 11 divisional all-star selections set in 1998 & 1999
The Canadian Football League unveiled Wednesday the 2019 East and West Division All-Stars, which included 13 Hamilton Tiger-Cats: wide receivers Brandon Banks and Bralon Addison, offensive tackles Chris Van Zeyl and Ryker Mathews, offensive guard Brandon Revenberg, defensive tackle Dylan Wynn, defensive end Ja’Gared Davis, linebacker Simoni Lawrence, cornerback Delvin Breaux Sr., defensive halfback Richard Leonard, safety Tunde Adeleke, kicker Lirim Hajrullahu and kick returner Frankie Williams. The 13 divisional all-star nods for the Tiger-Cats this season topped the franchise-best mark of 11 set in 1998 and equaled in 1999.
*Numbers in parentheses indicate number of career divisional all-star selections.
Brandon Banks – WR (6)
Banks, 31, has now been named a divisional all-star in six consecutive seasons (2014-19), earning the nod for the third time as a wide receiver after three-straight as a kick returner. In 2019, Banks started 16 games at wide receiver for the Tiger-Cats 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 set a Tiger-Cats’ single-season franchise record.
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.
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.
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 (6) / Ryker Mathews – OT (1) / Brandon Revenberg – OG (2)
Van Zeyl, 36, started 16 games at right tackle for the Tiger-Cats this season and was named the team’s 2019 Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. The 6-6, 312-pound native of Fonthill, Ontario earned his sixth divisional all-star honours (2013, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19) in his first season with the Tiger-Cats after 11 years with the Toronto Argonauts (2009-18).
Mathews, 26, started 15 games at left tackle for the Tiger-Cats in 2019. The 6-6, 320-pound native of American Fork, Utah was named an East Division All-Star for the first time in his career.
Revenberg, 26, started 17 games at left guard for the Tiger-Cats this season and earned his second consecutive divisional all-star appointment. 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, Mathews 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 (2)
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.
Ja’Gared Davis – DE (1)
Davis, 29, started 17 games at defensive end for Hamilton this season and finished second in the CFL with a career-high 13 quarterback sacks. The 6-1, 238-pound native of Crockett, Texas added 54 defensive tackles, one special teams tackle, three forced fumbles, five pass knock downs, one fumble recovery and three tackles for loss. Davis was also named a CFL Top Performer for Week 3.
Simoni Lawrence – LB (4)
Lawrence, 30, started 15 games at linebacker for the Tiger-Cats this season and led 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 earned his fourth East Division All-Star selection (2014, 15, 16, 19) and was named Hamilton’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the third time in his career (2014, 15, 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.
Delvin Breaux Sr. – CB (3) / Richard Leonard – HB (2) / Tunde Adeleke – S (1)
Breaux Sr., 30, started 10 games at boundary corner for the Tiger-Cats this season and earned his third divisional all-star selection (2014, 18, 19). The 6-1, 210-pound native of New Orleans, Louisiana registered 26 defensive tackles, one forced fumble, one interception, four pass knock downs, one fumble recovery and two tackles for loss in 2019.
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 16 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.
Breaux Sr., 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.
Lirim Hajrullahu – K (2)
Hajrullahu, 29, appeared in all 18 regular season games with the Tiger-Cats in 2019, converting 47-of-55 field goal attempts (85.5%) and 26-of-28 single convert attempts (92.8%), while averaging 43.1 yards per punt on 106 attempts. The 5-11, 205-pound native of St. Catherines, Ontario ranked first in the CFL in field goals made (tie-47), third in scoring (162 points) and sixth in field goal percentage. Hajrullahu earned division all-star honours for the first time as a Tiger-Cat and second time in his career (2016, 19).
Frankie Williams – KR (1)
Williams, 26, ranks 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 also sits fourth in the CFL in combined yards (2,020) and is the only player without a single yard from scrimmage in the top 10 in that category.
Williams, who has 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, is second in the CFL in pass knockdowns with 14, and has added 50 defensive tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.
The East Division All-Stars were selected by the voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) from the East Division markets, the National Chapter and the East Division head coaches. The CFL All-Stars will be announced in early December.