Saskatchewan Roughriders’ receiver Brayden Lenius has won the CFL’s Jake Gaudaur Award for the 2023 season.
The 26-year-old missed much of this year with injury after suffering a lacerated kidney during the team’s second preseason game, which forced him to sit out the first seven weeks of the season. He returned to the lineup only to suffer a season-ending Lisfranc sprain in his first game.
Despite undergoing a taxing rehabilitation process, Lenius remained highly active in the community as a Saskatchewan Roughrider Foundation player ambassador. He traveled to every corner of the province, teaching youth about healthy relationships, the importance of mental well-being, and healthy coping strategies. He was also a lead player for the Win with Wellness and Grow the Game programs, while supporting Saskatchewan’s elite and amateur football development.
Presented annually since 2010, the award is named in honour of the late Jake Gaudaur, a distinguished veteran of the Second World War and the longest-serving commissioner in CFL history. It recognizes a Canadian CFL player who best demonstrates the attributes of Canada’s veterans: strength, perseverance, courage, comradeship, and contribution to Canadian communities.
Recent winners include former Saskatchewan Roughriders’ centre Dan Clark, Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ offensive tackle Chris Van Zeyl, former Montreal Alouettes’ long-snapper Martin Bedard, former B.C. Lions’ fullback Rolly Lumbala, and former Alouettes’ offensive lineman Luc Brodeur-Jordain.
Lenius was chosen by a committee made up of Robert Loken and Jeff Thompson from Veterans Affairs Canada, CFL On TSN analyst and former Honorary Colonel of 417 Combat Support Squadron Glen Suitor, CFL Players’ Association Executive Director Brian Ramsay, and CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.
Originally selected in the second round of the 2019 CFL Draft, Lenius has recorded 58 receptions for 659 receiving yards and five touchdowns over four seasons in Regina. On Thursday morning, he signed a one-year contract extension to remain in Saskatchewan.