Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke has earned the respect of Jacksonville Jaguars’ franchise man Trevor Lawrence.
The 2021 first-overall NFL Draft pick has seen Rourke perform on the field and behind the scenes during his first training camp and preseason south of the border. The Victoria, B.C. native completed 23-of-35 pass attempts (66 percent) for 348 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions while rushing 14 times for 39 yards and one TD in around five quarters of exhibition action.
“The great Canadian. He’s done a great job. The guy works really hard, he does, so it’s cool to see him have success. He’s had some great plays and that’s what you got to do — the guy is looking to stick in the league and get a spot,” Lawrence said.
The Jags have until Tuesday, August 29 at 4:00 p.m. ET to make final cuts. Jacksonville has to decide whether to keep Rourke on its 53-man active roster, risk trying to get him through waivers to the practice squad or execute a trade with another NFL team looking for a backup with intriguing potential and upside.
The 25-year-old Canuck went viral in his NFL preseason debut against the Dallas Cowboys, garnering the attention of reigning league MVP and two-time Super Bowl Champion Patrick Mahomes and millions more with a spectacular touchdown pass after he broke a number of tackle attempts.
“Everybody’s been talking about that play against Dallas and he broke a couple tackles against Detroit and had that ball he threw on the sideline,” Lawrence said.
The six-foot-two, 209-pound dual-threat QB signed with Jacksonville this offseason following an extensive NFL workout tour that included 12 teams. Over two-thirds of the teams in the league showed an interest in Rourke. He is one of three quarterbacks on the team’s roster along with Pro Bowler Lawrence and veteran backup C.J. Beathard.
“I think he’s played really well and it’s been impressive to watch him work,” Lawrence said. “Every day in practice he’s like that too, really committed and works super hard. I know the guys got a lot of respect for him.”
Jacksonville begins the 2023 NFL regular season on Sunday, September 10 when the Jags visit the Indianapolis Colts. It’s to be decided if Rourke will be with the Jaguars or elsewhere.