Grey Cup champion Bombers place 11 players on CFL all-star team

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The two-time Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers have placed a league-high 11 players on the CFL all-star team, seven more than any other team.

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Quarterback Zach Collaros, who was named most outstanding player in the CFL and Grey Cup MVP in 2021, leads the Winnipeg contingent.

Also on the list are Kenny Lawler, who led the league in receiving yards, and offensive linemen Patrick Neufeld, Stanley Bryant and Jermarcus Hardrick.

Bryant was also named most outstanding offensive lineman in the CFL this year.

On defence, the Bombers were led by defensive ends Willie Jefferson and Jackson Jeffcoat on the season-ending all-star team, along with middle linebacker Adam Bighill, who was named the CFL’s most outstanding defensive player.

Also getting the nod were safety Brandon Alexander, halfback Deatrick Nichols and cornerback DeAundre Alford.

Nichols and Alford were both CFL newcomers this year, winning jobs out of a group of 27 defensive backs in training camp and both played huge roles as the Bombers went 11-3 in the regular season, beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the West Final and topped the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in overtime in the Grey Cup.

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Nichols was not considered a rookie because he played in the XFL previously, but Alford was a pure rookie.

The Tiger-Cats placed four players on the team, the Montreal Alouettes and Calgary Stampeders three apiece, the B.C. Lions, Ottawa Redblacks and Toronto Argos two each. The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Edmonton Elks were shut out.

Bighill and Bryant were both named league all-stars for the sixth time, while Jefferson was recognized for the fourth time.

All of the other Bombers are first-time league all-stars.

The Bombers beat the Tiger-Cats 33-25 in overtime in last Sunday’s Grey Cup game and were set to celebrate their second straight championship on Wednesday night at IG Field.

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