Gittens Jr., Onyeka named All-Canadians

Photo: Jake Martella

HAMILTON, ON – Following another strong season, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team had two players recognized as U SPORTS All-Canadians as the year-end awards were handed out during the All-Canadian Awards Gala at the Hamilton Convention Centre.

Receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. of Ottawa, was named an All-Canadian at two positions, making the first team as a receiver and earning second team honours as a kick returner. Defensive back Godfrey Onyeka of Brampton, Ont., was named to the first team for the third consecutive season.

Gittens Jr., who was also a finalist for the prestigious Hec Crighton Trophy, becomes the first Golden Hawk to ever earn two All-Canadian nods in the same season. The 2017 OUA Most Valuable Player enjoyed an incredible season that saw him break the U SPORTS record for receptions in a season with 75 while finishing second in the nation for receiving yards with 953. He added 710 return yards while totalling seven touchdowns, six receiving and one punt return.

All told, Gittens Jr. finished the year with 1665 all-purpose yards, the most in the country in 2017.

Meanwhile, Onyeka joins an exclusive list of Golden Hawks to be named a First Team All-Canadian on three occasions that includes Donnie Ruiz (1998, 1999, 2000), Stefan Ptaszek (1992, 1993, 1994) and Alex Troop (1983, 1984, 1985).

An All-Canadian the last three years, Onyeka’s coming off another outstanding season for the purple and gold that saw him lead the team in tackles, posting a career-high 42.5. In addition, he added three pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one sack and one interception.

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