Oakville’s Rourke signs deal with NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars


Published January 16, 2023 at 4:31 pm

Oakville native Nathan Rourke is leaving the CFL and has inked a deal to quarterback the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. CFL.CA PHOTO

Oakville’s Nathan Rourke is heading to the National Football League.

In a post Sunday (Jan. 15) on Twitter, the B.C. Lions quarterback announced he is leaving the Canadian Football League and signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“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,” said the 24-year-old former student at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School. “I am excited to announce that the realization of that dream starts today.

“After my 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 apologized for keeping fans in suspense about his decision, but said he wanted to make sure he and his “corner” did their 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,” said Rourke, who was a second round pick (15th overall) by the Lions in the 2021 CFL draft.

“It was the same people that made contemplating the decision to leave so challenging.”

Rourke worked out for 12 NFL team after finishing his season with the Lions.

The six-foot-two, 209-pound Rourke, who was bypassed in the 2021 NFL draft and still had a year left on his CFL deal, threw for over 300 yards six times in leading the Lions to an 8-1 record.

His season was cut short when he suffered a Lisfranc sprain in his right foot that required surgery.

He returned for the Lions’ regular-season finale and then led them past Calgary 30016 in the West Division semifinal, before he and his teammates fell 28-20 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the West final.

Rourke was named the CFL’s top Canadian this season.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my CFL experience, playing the game that I love in front of my fellow Canadians has been truly special,” he said.

“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.”

Financial details of his contract with the Jaguars weren’t immediately made available.

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