UBC Thunderbirds’ QB Garrett Rooker highlights 2023 Canada West all-stars

Photo courtesy: Bob Frid/UBC Athletics

UBC Thunderbirds’ quarterback Garrett Rooker has been named Canada West’s all-star quarterback after helping his team finish atop the conference standings for the first time since 1999.

The native of League City, Texas completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 2,266 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four interceptions this season, finishing third in all of U Sports in passing yardage and passing touchdowns, second in quarterback rating, and tied for second in completion percentage.

The six-foot-three, 205-pound passer is in his third year with the team and broke all of his previous career-highs this season. He also threw for 245 yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions in the team’s recent 29-21 victory over the Manitoba Bisons in the Canada West semifinals, earning a berth against the Alberta Golden Bears in the Hardy Trophy.

Courtesy: Canada West

Matthew Peterson recorded 117 carries for 1,128 rushing yards and four touchdowns, finishing first in all of U Sports with an average yards per carry of 9.6. Isaiah Knight ran the ball 111 times for 787 yards and five touchdowns behind UBC’s vaunted offensive line and also made 19 receptions for 206 yards and one score.

Gob Deng led the conference with 29 catches for 568 yards and four touchdowns, while Daniel Perry and Shemar McBean weren’t far behind. Deng is currently in his third year with the Dinos, while Perry was selected in the fifth round of the 2023 CFL Draft by the Ottawa Redblacks before being sent back to school for his final year of U Sports eligibility.

Theo Benedet and Giovanni Manu were both named all-stars along the offensive line after opting out of last year’s CFL draft to remain in school. The UBC blockers are currently both listed on the CFL’s scouting bureau rankings for 2024.

Courtesy: Canada West

Saskatchewan’s Nick Wiebe, one of the top-ranked linebackers in the 2024 CFL Draft, led the conference with 60.5 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and one forced fumble. Nathan Jule, his teammate, joined him as an all-star after leading Canada West with four sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss on the year.

Kwadwo Boahen, a third-round pick of the Calgary Stampeders in the 2023 CFL Draft, made 21.5 tackles, four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one pass knockdown for the Golden Bears. Jonathan Giustini, who served as Alberta’s starting safety and placekicker, tied for the conference lead with four interceptions on the year.

Courtesy: Canada West

The all-star totals by program were as follows: UBC, fourteen; Alberta and Saskatchewan, six; Manitoba and Calgary, two; Regina, one.

The Hardy Trophy will be played on Saturday, Nov. 11 with kickoff slated for 4:00 p.m. EST. This marks the first time UBC has hosted the game since 1997.