The suspense is over: Nathan Rourke is leaving the BC Lions for the NFL.
“After much prayer and deliberation, I will be signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. I am looking forward to getting to work with my new teammates and coaches,” Rourke said in a statement posted to his Twitter account.
— Nathan Rourke (@nathan_rourke) January 15, 2023
Rourke is expected to be the backup next season to 2021 NFL first overall pick Trevor Lawrence.
Rourke, a native of Victoria, British Columbia, had a breakout 2022 CFL season at the helm of the Lions as the team’s starting quarterback.
Dealing with a foot injury that sidetracked much of his season, Rourke still finished the year second in the CFL with 25 touchdown passes and sixth overall with 3,349 passing yards in just 10 games.
He was named the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian for the season, becoming just the third ever quarterback to win the award.
Rourke’s full statement is below:
“I want to apologize for keeping many of you in suspense but my corner and I wanted to make sure we did our due diligence and explored every option thoroughly. This has been a difficult decision, because when I got injured last year, I battled back to return to play again with and for my brothers, the teammates and coaches in an organization that I love. It was the same people that made contemplating the decision to leave so challenging, It has been an absolute joy to play for my home province in front of so many friends and family. I have thoroughly enjoyed my CFL experience, playing the game that I love in front of my fellow Canadians has been truly special. The CFL has been an unforeseen detour on my football journey but a necessary one, and I am grateful to the Lions for allowing me to learn how to be a professional and grow on and off the field. Thank you to the entire BC Lions organization for giving me a chance to be your quarterback and thank you to the fans for making these past two seasons so memorable.
Ultimately my decision came down to my commitment to the pursuit of the dream I first had as a youngster watching Brett Favre win Super Bowls on NFL Films. I am excited to announce that the realization of that dream starts today. After much prayer and deliberation, I will be signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. I am looking forward to getting to work with my new teammates and coaches.
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