Argos name Nick Arbuckle starting QB for Week 3 against Bombers

The Toronto Argonauts have named Nick Arbuckle the team’s starting quarterback for Week 3 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Arbuckle made his Argos debut in Week 2 at IG Field in the Manitoba capital. Head coach Ryan Dinwiddie benched McLeod Bethel-Thompson in the third quarter and Arbuckle completed 10-of-19 passes for 96 yards with one interception.

The six-foot-one, 213-pound passer signed a one-year contract for the 2021 season which included a $150,000 signing bonus. He has a $109,000 base salary, plus $12,000 in available housing payments and $3,000 per game in playtime incentives and could make $325,000.

The 27-year-old Arbuckle spent 2020 with the Ottawa Redblacks after being traded to the nation’s capital from Calgary in January of last year. He was released by Ottawa prior to a $150,000 roster bonus on Monday, February 1 after the two sides reached an impasse in contract renegotiations.

An injury to Stampeders starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell in Week 3 of the 2019 CFL season put Arbuckle into the starting role. The six-foot-one, 214-pound signal-caller won four of seven games under centre, completing over 73 percent of his passes for 2,103 yards and 11 touchdowns, while adding another four scores on the ground.

The California native spent his time in Calgary learning under current Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie, who was Calgary’s quarterbacks coach from 2016-2019.

The 2018 Grey Cup champion spent two record-breaking seasons at Georgia State University (2014-2015) where he was a two-time All-Conference quarterback and Sun Belt Conference Student-Athlete of the Year in 2015.

Arbuckle left GSU as the school’s career passing leader with 7,651 yards and 51 touchdowns, while also adding eight rushing touchdowns for a school record 59 total touchdowns.

He set conference records for passing after a senior season with 4,368 yards, as well as single-season school records for completions (307), touchdown passes (28), total offence (4,273) and total touchdowns scored (34). Arbuckle is one of only three NCAA Division I quarterbacks in the state of Georgia history with two 3,000 yard passing seasons.

Prior to his time in Georgia the quarterback played two seasons (2012-2013) at Pierce College in California where he threw for nearly 7,000 yards and 73 touchdowns.

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