Bo Levi Mitchell leads a parade of Calgary Stampeders to the winners’ table at the annual CFL Awards Dinner

TORONTO — He’s got a long way to go.

But Bo Levi is on the board.

The Stampeders star quarterback won the first CFL Most Outstanding award of his career on Thursday night.

He plans on making trips to the stage but was more interested in sharing the spotlight with those around him.

“It is cool to get recognized,” said Mitchell, who received all 73 first-place votes from the Football Reporters of . “Like (Jerome) Messam said, it’s cool to be recognized for all the hard work you put in — not just this year, but over your life and your career to get to this point.

“It’s a cliche, but as an athlete you feel selfish being up here because there’s been so many who have been a part of what it is to get me here, including guys like my high school coach (in Katy, Texas), Pat Dowling.

“He’s a guy that taught me to be a student of the game — and not just go out there and trust my arm. There’s so many people that I would love to thank. It is cool to get an individual award, but I’m going to go home, put this trophy and this suit in the closet, and pull out my game plan and get ready for .”

It was a banner day for the Stampeders at the Art Gallery of Ontario as all five nominees won their respective awards.

Messam (Most Outstanding Canadian), left tackle Derek Dennis (Most Outstanding Lineman), wideout DaVaris Daniels (Most Outstanding Rookie) and (Coach of the Year) will need to find some extra room in their suitcases on Monday.

Other award winners included B.C. Lions linebacker (Most Outstanding Defensive Player), Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker Justin Medlock (Most Outstanding Special Teams Player), Toronto Argonauts safety Matt Black (Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award), Argos director of education and community programs Jason Colero (Commissioner’s Award) and Lions wideout Marco Iannuzzi (Tom Pate Memorial Award).

Normie Kwong was posthumously presented with the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award.

Mitchell said his squad used some early-season predictions as motivation.

“It was deserved,” Mitchell said of the five-award sweep. “We put in the work. We read the newspaper clippings in the beginning of the year, in pre-season, and took to heart what people said about us and what we were going to be.

“We all took it to heart individually, but more as a team. We talked about those . We said, ‘Man, we know people don’t want us to succeed. We know people want us to fail. Let’s go prove them wrong. Let’s go have fun.’

“Man, we’re just so excited to be at this point right now because we know we’re supposed to be here.”

Mitchell said a lot of things will have to go his way if he wants to be considered one of the best quarterbacks in league history.

But at just 26, he’s got a bright future ahead of him. His career winning percentage of .853 (43-7-1) is the best in league history.

“It’s not easy to play in this league for a long time,” Mitchell said. “People start to figure you out.

“You have to be able to change things up when teams try to take you out of the game.

“And luck comes into it as far as staying healthy.”

There was no luck involved when it came to Mitchell’s performance this season.

The 6-foot-2, 196-pounder set new career-highs with 412 completions, 5,385 passing yards and 32 touchdown tosses.

His main focus is, of course, on the Ottawa RedBlacks and Sunday’s Grey Cup.

But long-term, Mitchell said he wants to take a run at Doug Flutie, who won a half-dozen MOP awards with three different teams.

“If everything goes right, I guess I’ve gotta beat Flutie’s MVPs and is Warren Moon leading in championships?

“I guess if I beat both of them, I’ll be in the conversation.”

Mitchell was the best player on the league’s best team, leading the Stampeders to a 15-1-1 before sitting out the regular-season finale in Montreal.

The Alouettes beat the Drew Tate-led Stamps, preventing the Red & White from establishing a league mark for the best record in modern CFL history.

But with a win on Sunday, Mitchell will become the first quarterback to win multiple Grey Cups with the Stampeders.

He helped the Stamps nail down the 2014 title in his third year in the league.

Mitchell thanked every coach on the staff and everyone who plays on his offence.

“These are the most unselfish men I’ve ever been around,” Mitchell said.

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