Canadian QB Nathan Rourke earns Cornish Trophy as Most Outstanding Canadian in NCAA football

Photo courtesy: Ohio Athletics

Oakville native and Ohio University Bobcats quarterback Nathan Rourke has been selected as the winner of the Jon Cornish Trophy.

Rourke is a repeat winner for the award presented annually to most outstanding Canadian player in NCAA football.

The vote was conducted after the conclusion of NCAA bowl season. The panel of 14 voters was comprised of CFL player evaluators, Canadian-based media who follow the NCAA and former NCAA players who have a connection to Canada. Each voter was supplied with a highlight video of the player and a detailed statistical abstract for evaluation.

The final vote was extremely tight on the second ballot between the five finalists. Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Chuba Hubbard, a redshirt freshman from Sherwood Park, Alberta finished in a tie for first with Rourke. The tiebreaker was determined by Rourke receiving the greater number of first place votes. Third place finisher Chase Claypool was only one vote behind the leaders.

In total, there were 139 Canadians in NCAA, NAIA and junior college in the 2018-19 season.

Rourke started all 13 games for the Ohio University Bobcats as a dual threat quarterback leading Ohio to a win in the Frisco Bowl and a 9-4 overall record. He completed 164-of-274 of his passes (59.9 per cent) for 2,434 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. On the ground, he carried the ball 134 times for 860 yards, and 15 touchdowns.

The trophy is named after Jon Cornish, a New Westminster, B.C. native who starred at running back for the University of Kansas before moving on to a distinguished career in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders. During his seven-year career Cornish was a three-time Most Outstanding Canadian (2012, 2013, 2014), Most Outstanding Player (2013) and winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete (2013). He is a two-time Grey Cup Champion (2008, 2014).