The Canadian Football League (CFL) announced Thursday that Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive back/kick returner Frankie Williams has won the 2019 John Agro Award as the league’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.
Williams, 26, ranked among CFL leaders in numerous kick return categories in 2019, 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 former Purdue Boilermaker received 34 first-place votes to win the award over West Division nominee Mike Miller of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Williams becomes the third Tiger-Cat to be named Most Outstanding Special Teams Player, joining current teammate Brandon Banks (2015) and Chris Williams (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.