Twelve-year veteran lineman becomes first-ever Ticat to win the award
The Canadian Football League (CFL) announced Thursday that Hamilton Tiger-Cats offensive lineman Chris Van Zeyl has been named the 2019 Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman.
Van Zeyl, 36, started 16 games at right tackle for the Tiger-Cats in his first season in Hamilton after 11 years with the Toronto Argonauts (2009-18). The 6-6, 312-pound native of Fonthill, Ontario earned his sixth divisional all-star honours (2013, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19) and 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).
The McMaster University product received 26 first-place votes to edge out West Division nominee Stanley Bryant of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, becoming the first-ever Tiger-Cat to win the award, and the first Canadian to do so since Brett Jones in 2014.
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.