Hamilton led the way with four winners of its five nominations, including Banks. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Montreal Alouettes and Calgary Stampeders were each represented by one player in the winners’ circle.
The Shaw CFL Awards were hosted by TSN’s James Duthie, and took place at the Scotiabank Saddledome as part of the festivities in the lead-up to the 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw.
2019 SHAW CFL AWARDS WINNERS
- Most Outstanding Player: Brandon Banks, Receiver, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Willie Jefferson, Defensive Lineman, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- Most Outstanding Canadian: Henoc Muamba, Linebacker, Montreal Alouettes
- Nissan TITAN Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman: Chris Van Zeyl, Offensive lineman, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- Most Outstanding Special Teams Player: Frankie Williams, Returner, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- Most Outstanding Rookie: Nate Holley, Linebacker, Calgary Stampeders
- Coach of the Year: Orlondo Steinauer, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
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.
CFL MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
BRANDON BANKS, WR
Brandon Banks guided the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a new franchise-record with 15 victories. He led the league in receptions (112 – also setting a new team mark), receiving yards (1,550), receiving touchdowns (13) and touchdowns scored (16). The Kansas State alum showcased his versatility by scoring touchdowns in three different ways: receiving, rushing and via kick return.
Banks topped the league in games with 100+ receiving yards (eight), yards after catch (657) and receptions of 20+ yards (21). The Garner, N.C., native finished third with 2,029 combined yards and second in yards from scrimmage with 1,606.
Banks’s prolific season came despite the loss of Hamilton’s starting quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli, in the sixth game of the season. Second-year pivot, Dane Evans, stepped into the role and Banks’s combination of skill and speed ensured the transition was seamless.
The 31-year-old becomes the fifth Tiger-Cat to win Most Outstanding Player, joining Danny McManus (1999), Jimmy Edwards (1977), Gerney Henley (1972) and Bernie Faloney (1961). He is the ninth receiver to win the award and the first since Chad Owens in 2012.
This is Banks’s second CFL award, having claimed Most Outstanding Special Teams player in 2015.
Banks received 41 first-place votes.
CFL MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER
WILLIE JEFFERSON, DL
WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS
Willie Jefferson collected a career-high 12 sacks, added 24 tackles and an interception, forced six fumbles and recovered two, registered five tackles for a loss and set a CFL record for a defensive lineman with 16 pass knockdowns.
The Beaumont, Texas, native led a defence that ranked first in opponent rushing yards and pass knockdowns. Winnipeg finished second in interceptions (24), fumble recoveries (13) and in forcing turnovers (45).
In his first season with the team, Jefferson has won Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the first time in his career. The Blue Bombers have claimed the award in back-to-back years, following Adam Bighill’s win in 2018. Other Winnipeg players to receive the honour include Jovon Johnson (2011), Greg Battle (1990-91) and Tyrone Jones (1985).
Jefferson received 39 first-place votes.
MOST OUTSTANDING CANADIAN
HENOC MUAMBA, LB
Henoc Muamba finished second in the league in defensive tackles (93) and fourth in total defensive plays (104) as Montreal finished second in the East Division and returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
The product of St. Francis Xavier also added three pass knockdowns, two forced fumbles, a sack and four tackles for a loss.
The Congo native, who grew up in Mississauga, has been named Most Outstanding Canadian for the first time in his career. This marks the fifth time that an Alouette has captured the award, following Ben Cahoon (2002-03), Nike Arakgi (1984) and Gerry Dattillio (1980). The last linebacker to take home the award was Mike O’Shea in 1999.
Muamba received 34 first-place votes.
NISSAN TITAN MOST OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
CHRIS VAN ZEYL
In his first season with Hamilton, Chris Van Zeyl was a steadying force on an offensive line which enabled its quarterbacks to total league-highs in passing yards (5,639), touchdowns (57) and net offence (395.8 yards per game).
This was the Fonthill, Ont., native’s first time being named a finalist for the Nissan TITAN Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman over his 11-year career.
The former McMaster Marauder is the first Tiger-Cat to ever win the award, and the first Canadian to do so since Brett Jones in 2014.
Van Zeyl received 26 first-place votes.
MOST OUTSTANDING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER
FRANKIE WILLIAMS, RET
Frankie Williams led the league in punt return yards (949) while tallying 10 returns of 30+ yards and a touchdown. In handling kick-off return duties, the Tampa, Fla., native accumulated 1,071 return yards, two returns of 40+ yards and a touchdown. His 2,020 total kick return yards topped the CFL.
The former Purdue Boilermaker is the third Tiger-Cat to be named Most Outstanding Special Teams Player, joining current teammate Brandon Banks (2015) and Chris Williams (2012).
Williams received 34 first-place votes.
MOST OUTSTANDING ROOKIE
NATE HOLLEY, LB
Nate Holley recorded 100 total tackles, three pass knockdowns, a sack, an interception and a tackle for a loss. The Kent State alum’s first year also included time on special teams where he finished with 107 total defensive plays and 22 special teams tackles – good for second in the league.
The Ottawa Lake, Mich., native joins five Stampeders who have previously been named the Most Outstanding Rookie: DaVaris Daniels (2016), Brett Jones (2013), Nik Lewis (2004), Kelvin Anderson (1996) and Harold Hallman (1986).
The most recent linebacker to win the award was current teammate Dexter McCoil in 2014.
Holley received 41 first-place votes.
COACH OF THE YEAR
In his first stint as a head coach in the CFL, Orlondo Steinauer led Hamilton to a franchise-best 15 victories, easily surpassing the previous mark of 12 and tying the all-time record for wins by a first-year head coach. The team also finished with a flawless 9-0 mark at Tim Hortons Field.
The Tiger-Cats led the CFL in points scored (551), net offence (395.8 yards per game) and passing yards (313.3 yards per game) as the team captured the East Division crown for the first time since 2014.
Steinauer becomes the seventh Tiger-Cat 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).
Steinauer received 38 first-place votes.
ADDITIONAL HONOURS PRESENTED AT THE 2019 SHAW CFL AWARDS
The Commissioner's Award, recognizing an individual or group for outstanding contributions to the league, was awarded by Commissioner Randy Ambrosie to Jim Lawson, Chairman of the CFL’s Board of Governors.
As chosen by the Commissioner, the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award in recognition of an individual who has demonstrated great leadership and has made significant contributions to the league, was awarded to former player and head coach, as well as, current General Manager and President of the Calgary Stampeders, John Hufnagel.
Calgary punter, Rob Maver was named the 2019 recipient of the Tom Pate Memorial Award. Selected by the CFL Players’ Association, the award celebrates outstanding sportsmanship and is given to a player who has made significant contributions to his team and his community Association.
Montreal Alouettes long snapper Martin Bedard received the Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award, which is given annually to a Canadian player who demonstrates the attributes of Canada’s veterans: strength, perseverance, courage, comradeship and contribution to Canadian communities.
The first-ever Jane Mawby Tribute Award, recognizing a highly-valued, yet too often unsung current employee at the club and league level, was presented to Calgary’s Director of Video Operations, Ross Folan.
The Shaw CFL Awards is one of the highlights of the 2019 Grey Cup Festival presented by Shaw. In addition to the awards, several ticketed events are on-sale now. Additional event details, dates and purchasing information can be found at GreyCupFestival.ca.
Tickets, as low as $150, are on sale now for the 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium on Sunday, November 24, featuring Keith Urban in the Freedom Mobile Grey Cup Halftime Show. For more information, click here.