After moving to the city of Ottawa, the capital of Canada from Guyana at the age of seven with his dad, Kurleigh Gittens Jr was introduced to the game of football. He played football in Ottawa with the Cumberland Panthers, and played with Sir Wilfred Laurier Secondary School in Orleans. During that time he also trained with Victor Tedondo of Gridiron Academy, participated in a number of football camps and played 7 on 7 football for recruiting. Gittens Jr’s journey led him to Wilfred Laurier University where he played football and broke records for the Golden Hawks, having the record for most receptions in a U-Sports season with 75 in 2017, 205 over his career (an OUA record) and racking up 2,682 yards receiving over his career for a Laurier record.
He was later drafted by the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts in the 3rd round of the 2019 CFL Draft, and played in 13 of the 18 games for the Argonauts in 2019. In his rookie campaign he caught just one pass for 10 yards, and was mostly featured on special teams where he had an additional 250 yards on returns. By many he was looked at to be just a Canadian receiver for depth purposes and someone that can return kicks when you need it. There weren’t a lot of people praising him, putting him on notice for the league, and when the Argonauts drafted Dejon Brissett and signed Canadian Juwan Brescasin in the off-season alongside American receivers Eric Rogers and Davaris Daniels, Gittens Jr’s role in the Argonauts offence looked to be very minimal going into his sophomore season, however he’s made sure to make his mark on the offence.
In his first game of the 2021 CFL season, Gittens Jr caught his first career touchdown, and did so on a game changing score over the Calgary Stampeders. He has since caught 50 passes for 605 yards and 4 touchdowns in 13 games this season and was just awarded the Toronto Argonaut’s Most Outstanding Canadian Player award. He will be one of the nominees to win the eastern Canadian Player of the Year, where he will face Carleton product Tunde Adeleke of Hamilton, University of Ottawa product Lewis Ward (Redblacks placekicker), and Alouettes defensive linemen David Menard from Quebec. If he wins the eastern award, he would then be nominated for the league award for Most Outstanding Canadian, an award recognized league-wide.
Gittens Jr and the Argonauts will be playing in the East Final on Sunday December 5th against either the Montreal Alouettes or Hamilton Tiger Cats. The winner of that game will move on to the Grey Cup.