The Canadian Football League unveiled the 2011 CFL All-Stars today and five Blue Bombers were named to the squad.
Offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte, defensive end Odell Willis, defensive backs Jonathan Hefney and Jovon Johnson as well as safety Ian Logan were selected to the All-Star team by fans, members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and CFL head coaches.
Brendon LaBatte, arguably Winnipeg’s most consistent offensive lineman since being drafted in the first round in 2008, takes home his first league All-Star selection. After starting every game on the offensive line primarily at guard, LaBatte also shifted to center for the final three regular season games and was named the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman earlier this year.
Odell Willis has developed into one of the league’s most dominant rush ends as the third-year player tied for the league-lead in sacks with 13. Willis appeared in every game for the Blue Bombers and also added 27 tackles and four forced fumbles. This is his first league All-Star selection.
Jovon Johnson led the league with eight interceptions, returning two of them for touchdowns, and also added 55 tackles and five pass knockdowns. While he excelled at the corner position, he also filled in at both halfback and safety throughout the season and recorded at least one interception in every position in the secondary. Johnson was named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player this year and this marks the second time he has been named a CFL All-Star, having last been named to the team in 2009.
Jonathan Hefney was a standout in the Winnipeg secondary all season, leading the team with 76 tackles while also picking off six passes, tied for second in the league behind Johnson. He also added two fumble recoveries and a team-high 11 pass knockdowns. Hefney was also named a CFL All-Star as a rookie in 2009.
Ian Logan anchored the Winnipeg secondary this season at safety and finished the year with 34 tackles and four interceptions. Those four interceptions tied a career-high for him and helped him earn his first league All-Star selection in his sixth year in the CFL.
All-Stars are selected by a combination of fan balloting, CFL head coaches and Football Reporters of Canada.
The 2011 Gibson’s Finest CFL Player Awards will be handed out in Vancouver on Thursday, November 24.