B.C. Lions’ head coach Rick Campbell declares Canadian Nathan Rourke as No. 2 quarterback

Photo courtesy: B.C. Lions

B.C. Lions’ head coach Rick Campbell has officially declared Nathan Rourke as the team’s backup quarterback.

“He’s going to be our No. 2 guy,” said head coach Rick Campbell via videoconference. “He’ll be dressing for our first game behind Michael Reilly.”

The Victoria-born, Oakville-raised dual-threat passer was a second-round pick out of Ohio University in the 2020 CFL Draft. The two-time Jon Cornish Trophy-winner passed for 7,475 yards and 70 touchdowns while also adding 2,639 yards and 49 touchdowns on the ground as a member of the Bobcats.

B.C. released former Redblacks’ quarterback Will Arndt on Monday, leaving Rourke as the primary backup to Michael Reilly. Former Michigan passer Shea Patterson also remains on the roster, though he remains behind Rourke on the depth chart.

“We’ve seen a lot from him that was part of the factor in our decision-making was we sure would like to keep him around in some form. Really athletic guy and you could see the lightbulb coming on once he got used to the motion and the twelve guys on the field. We really want to keep working with him,” said Campbell.

The B.C. Lions open the 2021 CFL season on Friday, Aug. 6 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Reilly will get the start with Rourke behind him as the No. 2 pivot.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.