Canadian QB Kurtis Rourke named MAC MVP, Offensive Player of the Year

Photo: AP/Emilee Chinn

Canadian quarterback Kurtis Rourke has been named the Most Valuable Player of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) as well its Offensive Player of the Year.

The younger brother of B.C. Lions’ phenom Nathan Rourke had a breakout season in 2022, completing 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,257 yards, 25 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also ran the ball 74 times for 245 yards and four touchdowns. The Ohio Bobcats went 8-3 with him as the starter.

The native of Oakville, Ont. recently suffered a knee injury, which held him out of the team’s final game of the regular season. He is not expected to play in the MAC Championship Game against Toledo on Saturday, Dec. 3.

Rourke redshirted in 2019 while his older brother was in his final year with the Bobcats. He shared time as the starter in 2020 and 2021, throwing for 2,187 yards, 14 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He also ran 89 times for 382 yards and three touchdowns over those two seasons.

The six-foot-four, 216-pound passer set a new school single-game passing yardage record in September of this season when he threw for 537 yards and four touchdowns in a 59-52 win over Fordham.

Due to pandemic exemption rules, Kurtis has up to two more years of college eligibility remaining following this season. With his sibling seemingly destined for the NFL, teams on both sides of the border will be following the rest of his collegiate career with great interest.

Rourke wasn’t the only Canadian to be recognized on the MAC awards list on Wednesday as Eastern Michigan offensive lineman Sidy Sow was named first-team All-MAC. The native of Bromont, Que. was one of only two players to be named first-team All-MAC in back-to-back seasons. He was also named third-team All-MAC as a redshirt junior in 2020.

Sow is eligible for the 2023 CFL Draft after deferring from last year to return for a final season of NCAA eligibility granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.