WINNIPEG, MB., November 15, 2022 –The Canadian Football League unveiled its 202s All-Star Team today, with six members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers named to the squad.
Honoured as CFL All-Stars are quarterback Zach Collaros, receiver Dalton Schoen, left tackle Stanley Bryant, guard Pat Neufeld, defensive back Deatrick Nichols and kick returner Janarion Grant.
The CFL All-Star Team was selected by 47 members of the Football Reporters of Canada, the league’s head coaches as well as submissions through the All-Star Fan Vote.
Zach Collaros has been named a CFL all-star for the second consecutive season. The reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player – and a finalist for the award again this year – helped lead the club to a franchise-record 15 wins and in the process set career highs in passing yards (4,183) and touchdowns (37). The 37 passing TDs is second-most in Blue Bombers history to the 46 Khari Jones threw for in 2002 and the highest total in the CFL since Henry Burris threw for 43 scores in 2012.
His touchdown-interception-differential of 37:13 – or +24 – is tied for the ninth highest in CFL history (Montreal’s Anthony Cavillio was +30 in 2008) and a new Blue Bombers record, eclipsing the +23 ratio Jack Jacobs posted in 1951.
The Blue Bombers have a 33-4 record in games Collaros has started since his arrival at the trade deadline in 2019, including a 6-0 record in postseason games and the last two Grey Cups.
Dalton Schoen, who is a finalist for the Most Outstanding Rookie Award, led the CFL in receiving yardage in his first season with 1,441 yards on 70 receptions. He also tied for the league lead with 16 touchdowns – a Blue Bombers franchise record for first-year players.
Schoen also led the CFL in second-down conversion catches, with a remarkable 41 of his 70 catches keeping the offence on the field. He has also had five 100-yard receiving games this season.
His 1,441 receiving yards was the most by a Blue Bomber since Milt Stegall had 1,896 yards in 2002, the year he was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. It also ranks as the seventh-highest total in Blue Bombers history with only Stegall (1,896 in ’02; 1,616 in ’97 and 1,499 in ‘00), James Murphy (1,746 in ’86), Gerald Wilcox (1,624 in ’94) and Eugene Goodlow (1,494 in ’81) having registered more.
Stanley Bryant, the three -time CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman and a finalist again for the award this season, has earned his seventh divisional all-star award after also being selected in 2013-14 and 2017-19 and 2021.
The 36-year-old vet continues to anchor the left side of the offensive line as part of an offence that ranked second in points, sacks surrendered and rushing yards and first in touchdowns.
Pat Neufeld has earned his second consecutive berth on the CFL All-Star in his 11th CFL season, the last eight with the Blue Bombers. The veteran guard was part of an offensive line that – in addition to surrendering the second-fewest sacks and finishing second in scoring – also helped Brady Oliveira rush for 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.
Deatrick Nichols has quickly established himself as one of the CFL’s best shut-down defensive backs and has earned a spot on the league all-star team for the second time in his first two seasons. Nichols had 46 tackles, one interception and eight pass knockdowns, which tied for fifth-most in the CFL.
Janarion Grant was the Blue Bombers Most Outstanding Special Teams Player this season in a year in which he made history by becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in return touchdowns.
Grant had three kick-return scores this year – two on punt returns, a third on a kickoff – to give him seven in his career and allowing him to move past Keith Stokes. Grant added another score in the Western Final, taking a punt 92 yards for a TD in Winnipeg’s 28-20 win over the B.C. Lions.
Grant finished second in the CFL in punt return yards at 817 – ranking first overall with a 13.0-yard average – third in kickoff return yards at 782 and with his rushing and receiving contributions on offence ranks fifth in the league in combined yardage at 1,817.