B.C. Lions’ quarterback Nathan Rourke has been named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian for the 2022 season, becoming the first passer to win the award since Gerry Dattilio in 1980.
The 24-year-old entered the season as a first-time starter and took the league by storm through nine weeks, establishing a record-setting statistical pace while leading the Lions to an 8-1 record. He finished the year having completed 255-of-324 passes for 3,349 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 10 games played, adding 39 carries for 304 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
Rourke’s season-long trajectory was derailed in Week 11 when he suffered a Lisfranc sprain to his right foot, which required surgery. The six-foot-two, 209-pound pivot returned to the field in record time, playing a quarter in the team’s regular-season finale before starting both of B.C.’s playoff appearances.
Born in Victoria, B.C. and raised in Oakville, Ontario, the Ohio product set a CFL record with a 78.7 percent completion percentage and posted the second-highest passer rating of all time, a mark of 123.6. He tossed for over 400 yards on three occasions, setting a new single-game passing record for a Canadian with a 488-yard performance in Week 10
Rourke has two NFL workouts scheduled for next week, with more than two-thirds of teams expressing interest in his services for next season. He is expected to sign a contract south of the border.
He received 41 first-place votes for this award to beat out Toronto Argonauts’ receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr., the East Division’s nominee.