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VANCOUVER — After making a splash in the first round by trading up for the first overall pick, the BC Lions have selected Nathan Rourke with the 15th overall pick in the second round of the CFL Draft.
Rourke was the No. 7 ranked prospect in the spring edition of the CFL Scouting Bureau.
After starting for the program in his final two seasons, the Oakville, Ont., native helped lead Ohio to a victory in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to cap off the 2019 season.
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Rourke becomes the highest selection in the CFL Draft at the QB position at 15, along with Jesse Palmer who was drafted in 2001.
He played in 13 games this past year — including playoffs — throwing for 2,820 yards and 20 touchdowns while throwing just five picks.
Over his 39 career NCAA games, Rourke has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 7,457 yards and 60 touchdowns while throwing just 20 interceptions.
Rourke has also been named the winner of the Jon Cornish Award as the NCAA’s top Canadian player in each of the last two seasons.
His Bobcats had won the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in December, their third bowl game win in as many years and Rourke had solidified himself as one of the school’s best-ever quarterbacks. Rourke, a mobile six-foot-two and 209 pounds, threw for 7,457 yards and 60 touchdowns over three seasons and rushed for 2,639 yards and 49 touchdowns. He took part in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January and got to meet with what he guessed were 15 to 20 NFL teams and some CFL squads.
Ohio is a smaller Div. 1 program, but Rourke’s resume is strong and he’d use the spring to show what he could do in a pro day and hopefully impress enough through tape and conversation to get an opportunity.