Quarterback Nathan Rourke selected as KCU NCAA Top Canadian in 2017
Vancouver, BC – Oakville, Ontario native Nathan Rourke has been selected the Krown Countdown U Top Canadian in the NCAA in 2017. The selection was conducted via a panel of Canadian media and Canadian Football League scouts in the field.
The sophomore QB burst onto the NCAA scene in his first season in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) with the Ohio Bobcats. Rourke seized control of the starters role at pivot in the second game, leading Ohio to an 8-4 record.
In his breakout year, Rourke demonstrated his athleticism, versatility and durability. He passed for 2,018 yards, 15 TDs and seven interceptions while completing 54.4%. In addition, he ran 134 times for 882 yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry while finding the end zone 21 times. The 21 rushing TDs in a season is a new Bobcat record. Rourke even added a receiving TD, which means he played a role in 37 TDs this season.
Rourke was humble in his assessment of his performance in 2017.
“I think I did a good job of managing what I could and reacting to a lot of things, that’s why I could take advantage of the running game,” Rourke told KCU.
Even with the eye-popping first-year numbers, Rourke promises he will continue to work hard to improve his game moving forward.
“There’s parts of a refined aspect of playing quarterback at this level I want to master but that the challenge that I like and love,” he said.
Rourke played his first three years of high school football at Holy Trinity High School in Oakville and lead Holy Trinity to its first OFSAA Bowl Championship in 2014. In 2015, He moved to Alabama for his senior year in high school to continue his development at quarterback. At Edgewood Academy in Elwood, Ala. he went 13-0 as a starter and won the AA Alabama State Championship, passing for for 3,779 yards and 59 touchdowns while rushing for seven more touchdowns.
Upon graduation, he spent a year in Junior College at Fort Scott CC where he played in all 11 games in 2016, leading the Greyhounds to a 4-7 record while passing for 2,367 yards, 18 TDs, three rushing TDs and was named First Team All-KJCCC.
The impact of Canadian players continues to be felt stateside. By last count, there were 94 Canadian-born players in Division I and II, not including those at Burnaby, BC’s Simon Fraser University who play in the D2 Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). The four other outstanding players who were finalists in the “Stateside 5” were.
Dejon Brissett – Wide Receiver, Richmond Spiders (Jr. Mississauga, ON)
63 receptions, 896 yards, 7TD, 1,105 all-purpose.
Chase Claypool – Wide Receiver, Notre Dame Fighting Irish (So. Abbotsford, BC)
29 receptions, 402 yards, 2TD.
Justin McInnis – Wide Receiver, Arkansas State Red Wolves (Jr. Pierrefonds, PQ)
42 receptions, 693, 3TD.
Hergy Mayala – Wide Receiver, UConn Huskies (Jr. Montreal, PQ)
43 receptions, 615, 7TD.
Rourke’s interview with KCU can be seen below and on CHCH TV Thursday night at 11:30 ET, immediately after CHCH news.
Canadian football fans will have the opportunity to watch Rourke and the Ohio Bobcats as they take on UAB in the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl, Friday, December 22 on TSN 2.
About Krown Countdown U
“KCU” is Canada’s source for college football news over the last seven years. Heard on radio nationwide on the TSN Radio Network, and seen across the country on CHCH Television. KCU TV reached a total of just under two-million total viewers this season on CHCH, Shaw TV and Access 7. The TV program runs from August to December, with online editions which run monthly in the off-season on 3DownNation. The radio counterpart is heard on TSN stations in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto as well as the Rawlco Radio Network in Regina and Saskatoon. The radio show runs from mid-August through to the Canadian Football League draft in May. The programming is generously supported by Krown Produce and Football Canada.