November 8, 2023

Argonauts Lead League With Eight CFL All-stars

TORONTO – The Canadian Football League announced today that the Toronto Argonauts lead the CFL with eight CFL All-Stars in 2023. This is the most league All-Stars the Argos have had since 1997, when they had nine. Seven are first-time CFL All-Stars with one player being selected for a second time. 

The CFL AllStars were selected by the local voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) in their respective division’s markets and the National Chapter, as well as head coaches. Fans also took part in this year’s selections through the All-Star Fan Vote.

Toronto’s CFL AllStars include: 

QB

Chad Kelly* (1st)

C

Darius Ciraco (1st)

G

Ryan Hunter (1st)

OT

Dejon Allen* (1st)

LB

Wynton McManis* (2nd, 2022)

CLB

Adarius Pickett* (1st)

HB

Robertson Daniel* (1st)

ST

Javon Leake* (1st)

*American

QB Chad Kelly –  In his second CFL season but first as a full-time starter, Kelly was 15-1 in games he started (he was injured in the second quarter and taken out of the game in the one loss) and was vital in getting Toronto to 16-2 (tied for the best regular season record ever). The Ole Miss product is second in the CFL in QB efficiency (109.6) and rushing touchdowns (8), third in passing touchdowns (23), fourth in passing yards (4,123) and completion percentage (68.5). The Buffalo native, who came in relief of the injured McLeod Bethel-Thompson in the fourth quarter of last year’s Grey Cup, and helped lead the Argos to a championship, hasn’t missed a beat in his first season as the team’s starting pivot. 

C Darius Ciraco – Offseason acquisition Darius Ciraco started 15 games at center for the Argos, helping anchor the middle of an offensive line that has three CFL AllStars and makes his first trip to an All-Star team. The sixth overall pick in the 2018 CFL Draft by Hamilton spent his first three seasons with the Ticats before a move to Ottawa in 2022.

OG Ryan Hunter – Second-year Argonaut Ryan Hunter gets his first CFL All-Star nod after starting all 18 games at guard. The Bowling Green alum played five games for the Argos last season before winning the Grey Cup with the team in November. Hunter is one of a handful of players to ever win both a Super Bowl (Kansas City, 2019) and a Grey Cup.

OT Dejon Allen – In his third season in Toronto, Allen was the team’s nominee for top offensive lineman two years in a row and now gets his first CFL All-Star after two consecutive Division All-Star nods. The University of Hawaii alum has started 16 of 18 games at right tackle for an offensive line that has allowed a league-low 19 sacks, 14 clear of the second-place team.

LB Wynton McManis – An All-Star for the second consecutive season, McManis tallied 79 defensive tackles, four sacks, four interceptions, one fumble recovery, five tackles for loss, and two touchdowns. The Memphis alum was second on the Argos in total tackles (80) and total defensive plays made (97). 

CLB Adarius Pickett – The East nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player and first-year Argo is setting career-highs across the board in 2023 with 105 defensive tackles, 19 special teams tackles, five sacks, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble in 18 games played. The UCLA product’s 144 total defensive plays and 5 tackles for loss rank second in the league, while he sits fourth in special teams tackles and fifth in defensive tackles. The three-year CFLer joined Toronto in free agency in early 2023. 

HB Robertson Daniel – The third-year Argo played 11 games before an injury shut him down for the rest of the regular season but he still managed to intercept four passes, returning one for a touchdown and chipping in with 55 defensive tackles and two sacks (career-highs across the board). The BYU product had a trio of interceptions during a week four game vs. B.C. and makes his first trip to the CFL All-Star team.

 ST Javon Leake – Leake had one of the best return seasons in Argonaut history. The Maryland alum leads the CFL in punt return yards (1,216, third best in CFL history), punt return average (15.0), touchdowns (4), and returns of 30+ yards (13) in 17 games. He has already set team records for touchdowns and punt return yards for a single season, passing Double Blue legend Michael Clemons for the latter record. The North Carolina native also ranks seventh in kick return yards with 793 yards. Leake is an award finalist for Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.