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Brandon Banks named CFL’s Most Outstanding Player, 3 other Tiger-Cats win awards

Hamilton Tiger-Cats receiver Brandon Banks poses with the trophy for the most outstanding player award at the CFL Awards during the CFL's Grey Cup week in Calgary, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats receiver Brandon Banks poses with the trophy for the most outstanding player award at the CFL Awards during the CFL's Grey Cup week in Calgary, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

For the first time since 1999, a Hamilton Tiger-Cat has been crowned the Canadian Football League‘s Most Outstanding Player.

Ticats receiver Brandon Banks won the league’s highest individual honour for the first time Thursday night at the CFL Awards, beating Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo.

Voting was conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and the CFL’s nine head coaches.

Banks led the CFL in virtually every receiving category this season, including a franchise-record 112 catches, 1,550 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.

‘Speedy B’ becomes the fifth Tiger-Cats player to take home Most Outstanding Player honours, joining Danny McManus (1999), Jimmy Edwards (1977), Garney Henley (1972) and Bernie Faloney (1961).

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Three other Tiger-Cats took home CFL honours in Calgary.

Orlondo Steinauer beat out Saskatchewan’s Craig Dickenson for the CFL’s coach of the year.

In his rookie year as a head coach, Steinauer lead Hamilton to a CFL-high, and club record 15-3 record, tying the CFL record for regular-season wins by a first-year head coach.

READ MORE: Rick Zamperin: Grey Cup will be closer than you think, but Hamilton Tiger-Cats will win

He becomes the seventh Ticats coach to win the Annis Stukus Award following Greg Marshall (2004), Ron Lancaster (1998), Al Bruno (1989), Bob Shaw (1976), Ralph Sazio (1964) and Jim Trimble (1961).

The Cats went 9-0 at home this year for the first time in the team’s 150 year history and led the league in scoring (551 points) and allowed the fewest points (344).

Grey Cup Championship preparations underway at McMahon Stadium
Grey Cup Championship preparations underway at McMahon Stadium

Hamilton defensive back/kick returner Frankie Williams beat Winnipeg’s Mike Miller for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player Award.

He was first in punt return yardage (949), 30+ yard punt returns (10), average yards per kickoff return (24.9) and kickoff return touchdowns (tie-1) and 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 joins Brandon Banks (2015) and Chris Williams (2012) in winning the award.

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Hamilton’s Chris Van Zeyl beat Winnipeg’s Stanley Bryant in the voting for Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman.

In his first season with the Ticats, the right tackle 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), and net offence per game (395.8 yards).

READ MORE: Ed Tait’s Five Things to Know for Sunday’s Grey Cup

The McMaster University product became the first-ever Tiger-Cat to win the award, and the first Canadian to do so since Brett Jones in 2014.

Tiger-Cats linebacker was a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, but lost to Winnipeg defensive end Willie Jefferson.

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