Nathan Rourke’s football journey will take him back across the border. 

Rourke, Ohio’s all-time touchdown leader and an Ontario, Canada native, was selected 15th overall by the BC Lions on Thursday night in the Canadian Football League Draft. He was the highest quarterback taken in the CFL draft since 2001. 

Despite not hearing his name called in last week’s NFL Draft, Rourke is a highly-touted quarterback prospect. His athleticism, leadership and toughness could serve him well in the CFL. 

Ohio’s offense revolved around Rourke during his three years as a starter. His ability to run as smoothly as he passed made him one of the most dynamic players in program history.

Over his time in Athens, Rourke was the first Ohio quarterback to lead the Bobcats to three-consecutive bowl wins, and future Ohio quarterbacks will look to the record books and see Rourke’s name throughout the pages. In 39 games, Rourke tallied 111 touchdowns, 49 rushing touchdowns and 10,901 total yards — all Ohio records. 

Rourke also has the accolades to back up his play. He won the Jon Cornish Trophy, awarded to college football’s best Canadian player, after his sophomore and junior season and was a finalist as a senior. In 2019, Rourke was an All-MAC First-Team selection and a second-team selection in his sophomore and junior year. 

Now, Rourke will turn his sights to helping the Lions win the Grey Cup.

@JL_Kirven 

jk810916@ohio.edu