Tied to Tiger Town: Ticats ink contract extension with CFL Most Outstanding Player Brandon Banks

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have signed reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player Brandon Banks to a one-year contract extension for the 2021 season, per sources.

Speedy B started 16 games for the Ticats in 2019 and set career highs while leading the CFL in all major receiving categories with 112 receptions, 1,550 yards, and 13 touchdowns. He produced 16 total majors — 13 receiving, two on missed field goal returns, and one rushing TD.

Banks was the ninth receiver to win the league’s top individual award and first since Chad Owens in 2012.

The veteran was a CFL all-star in 2018, finishing second among all receivers in the league with 94 receptions and 1,423 yards while tying for first with 11 receiving majors. In 2017, Banks produced his first 1,000-yard season with 67 catches for 1,011 yards and eight touchdowns.

Former head coach and offensive coordinator June Jones put Banks at receiver full-time and it was a smart move. Banks was primarily used as a returner under Kent Austin. Prior to 2017, Banks’ best production as a receiver came in 2014 when he caught 42 balls for 529 yards and five touchdowns.

The Raleigh, North Carolina native has 378 career CFL catches for 5,204 yards and 42 touchdowns, averaging 13.8 yards per catch.

The five-foot-seven, 150-pounder rose to stardom in the CFL as returner and was named a CFL all-star in 2014 and 2015. He has 283 punt returns for 2,954 yards and seven touchdowns, 179 kick-off returns for 3,689 yards and one touchdown, and 16 missed field goal returns for 769 yards and five touchdowns, which is a CFL record.

Known for his speed, it was easily apparent when Banks was in high school. He ran a 100-metre time of 10.42 seconds in 2006 and a 200-metre time of 21.44 — world class at that age.

After playing junior college football at Bakersfield in California, Banks earned a scholarship to Kansas State University. He played two season for the Wildcats, catching 123 balls for 1,754 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a returner in the NCAA, Banks brought back 57 kick-offs for 1,625 yards and five touchdowns along with 22 punts for 213 yards.

During the 2010 NFL Combine, Banks ran a 4.33 laser-timed 40-yard time, a quick 4.29 shuttle, and 6.88 three-cone. Even though he went unselected in the NFL Draft, Banks was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Washington Football Team. He played 41 games making 11 catches for 35 yards, returning 100 punts for 937 yards, and 119 kick-offs for 2,856 yards and one touchdown.

Following the 2012 season, Banks was not re-signed by Washington and in 2013 he inked a deal with Hamilton. Banks earned $1.3 million USD while in the NFL.

The 33-year-old Banks has been a mainstay with the Ticats ever since coming to the CFL and his new pact allows him to try and win a Grey Cup in Steeltown with Hamilton scheduled to host in 2021.