LAWRENCE AND BANKS NAMED EAST DIVISION’S MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE AND SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS
Each player now a finalist in their category for 2015 Shaw CFL Award
The Canadian Football League (CFL) announced today that Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Simoni Lawrence and kick returner Brandon Banks have been named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Most Outstanding Special Teams Player, respectively.
Lawrence, who was recently named both an East Division All-Star and Hamilton’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the second consecutive season, yet again contributed across the board for Hamilton’s defence in 2015. The 6-1, 228-pound native of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania started all 18 games at linebacker for the Ticats, recording career highs in defensive tackles (80) and sacks (5), while adding two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Banks, who was also named an East Division All-Star for the second time in as many seasons on Tuesday, led the league with four punt return touchdowns this season, one shy of the all-time CFL single-season record. The 5-7, 153-pound native of Garner, North Carolina ranked third in the CFL in all-purpose yards (2,073) and punt return yards (930), and had six total touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving, four punt returns). Banks also returned a missed single-point convert attempt 127 yards on November 7 versus Ottawa for the first missed convert return score in the history of the CFL.