Michael O’Connor feels a certain way about being a national quarterback employed in the Canadian Football League.
“It could be a burden early on in my career, to be honest because there is a stigma associated with it. But I’m looking forward to trying to break that and show the whole league that a Canadian can play quarterback in this league with the best of them — that’s my goal,” O’Connor told TSN reporter Farhan Lalji.
The 24-year-old O’Connor was selected in the third round of last May’s CFL draft by the Toronto Argonauts. The six-foot-four, 230-pound pivot originally committed to Penn State University before transferring to the University of British Columbia to finish his collegiate career.
“There’s a lot more opportunity down south for Canadian quarterbacks. You’ll only see that grow in the future,” O’Connor said.
During the 2019 season, O’Connor suited up for nine games with the Argos. He completed 15-of-25 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown during two games where Toronto put him on the field last year.
“I feel like I’m ready to go. I’ve had a lot of great coaches throughout my career and I think I have the physical tools,” O’Connor said.
“In time that process will play itself out and I’ll prove a lot of people wrong.”
O’Connor credits fellow non-import signal caller Brandon Bridge for pushing the belief in Canadian’s at the game’s most important position forward. It Bridge appears has traded in a football for police badge. However, Bridge still left a memorable mark in the pro three-down game: Canadian quarterbacks are included in the ratio due to his work.
“You gotta look at what Brandon Bridge did,” O’Connor said. “He moved the position forward and I owe a lot to him, but I’m looking to take that next step for us.”