UBC Thunderbirds add former UConn starting QB Jack Zergiotis

Courtesy: AP Photo/Stephen Dunn

The University of British Columbia is adding a former NCAA Division I starting quarterback to their roster for the 2023 season.

UBC announced the commitment of Jack Zergiotis on Friday. The Montreal native entered the NCAA transfer portal for the second time in his career in December.

Zergiotis was a two-star recruit coming out of John Abbott College, originally committing to the University of Connecticut. He played in ten games for the Huskies as a true freshman, completing 150-of-260 passes for 1,782 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions after beating out fellow Canadian Mike Beaudry for the starting job.

UConn did not play in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic and Zergiotis struggled in 2021, completing 38-of-86 passes for 325 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. He played just three games before entering the transfer portal, preserving a year of eligibility.

The six-foot-two, 225-pound passer played for Merrimack College in the FC in 2022, making three starts and five appearances. He went 52-of-106 passing for 667 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception.

UBC has started Garrett Rooker in each of the past two seasons, with the League City, Tex. native throwing for 3,174 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions in 14 games. He has also rushed for 274 yards and six touchdowns.

However, Rooker suffered a fracture to the posterior wall of his hip in Week 7 last season against the University of Saskatchewan, leading backup Derek Engel to finish the regular season and playoffs. The product of Grapevine, Tex. threw for 1,026 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions in four starts.

UBC finished third in the Canada West this past season with a 4-4 record before upsetting the University of Regina Rams in the first round of the playoffs, eventually losing to Saskatchewan in the Hardy Cup.

The Thunderbirds have recent experience riding an NCAA transfer to success. In 2015, top Canadian recruit Michael O’Connor left Penn State for UBC, leading the team to a Vanier Cup championship in his first season.

J.C. Abbott is a University of British Columbia graduate and high school football coach. He covers the CFL, B.C. Lions, CFL Draft and the three-down league's Global initiative.