The Patriots have reportedly added a brand new No. 3 quarterback to their roster.
Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Patriots claimed QB Nathan Rourke off waivers from the Jaguars on Monday, with the previous Canadian Soccer League (CFL) standout anticipated to fit in behind Bailey Zappe and Mac Jones on New England’s depth chart.
New England’s QB depth has taken a success in December. Rourke’s arrival in Foxborough got here the identical day QB Will Grier was claimed off waivers by the Chargers. Past Grier’s exit, Malik Cunningham left the Patriots on Dec. 12 after the Ravens signed him to their energetic roster.
Listed here are 4 issues to find out about New England’s new sign caller:
Rourke is a Canadian product
Rourke performed faculty soccer at each Fort Scott Neighborhood School in Kansas and later Ohio College for 3 seasons, however the 25-year-old QB truly hails from Canada.
He was born in Victoria, British Columbia and grew up in Oakville, Ontario. Whereas there have been loads of Canadian-born gamers to carve out roles within the NFL, Rourke put himself in uncommon firm earlier this season with the Jaguars.
He was the primary Canadian quarterback to be on an energetic NFL roster since Jesse Palmer appeared in eight video games with the New York Giants in 2002 and 2003.
Regardless of his days rising up in Canada, Rourke and his household moved south to Elmore, Ala. forward of his senior season so he may play for Edgewood Academy. Rourke made essentially the most of his lone season there, guiding the Wildcats to the state title and setting the state document with 59 passing touchdowns.
Throughout his time at Ohio College, Rourke led the Bobcats to a few straight bowl victories. He was the primary winner of the Jon Cornish Trophy as the highest Canadian soccer participant in NCAA soccer in 2017, taking residence the accolade once more in 2018.
He put up video-game numbers within the CFL
Regardless of his spectacular three-year run at Ohio, Rourke bought his begin in professional soccer within the Canadian Soccer League — enjoying two seasons with Vancouver’s BC Lions in 2021 and 2022 after getting drafted within the second spherical of the 2020 CFL Draft.
Initially a backup QB with the Lions, Rourke established himself as a starter in 2022 and put collectively top-of-the-line seasons in league historical past.
In 10 video games final yr, Rourke accomplished a CFL single-season document 78.7 p.c of his passes for 3,349 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He additionally gained one other 304 dashing yards and scored seven touchdowns on the bottom earlier than his season was lower quick as a consequence of a foot damage.
Even together with his enjoying time hampered by that foot ailment, Rourke took residence the Most Excellent Canadian Award in 2022.
He put himself on the radar of a number of NFL groups after his 2022 season
Regardless of going undrafted within the NFL after his collegiate profession wrapped up, Rourke clearly caught the attention of many professional golf equipment following his spectacular stint up in Canada.
After dominating throughout his tenure because the BC Lions QB, Rourke took half in professional exercises final winter with 10 completely different NFL golf equipment — the Chiefs, Bengals, Chargers, Raiders, Jaguars, Vikings, Broncos, Colts, Buccaneers, and Cardinals.
Again in 2021, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound QB made an look on the Giants’ rookie mini-camp whereas making an attempt out as a receiver.
Ultimately, Rourke earned his spot within the NFL after signing a reserve/future contract with the Jaguars in January 2023.
Rourke may need this yr’s play of the yr within the NFL
Regardless of signing his contract with Jacksonville, Rourke didn’t seem in a regular-season recreation with the Jags this yr, bouncing between the energetic roster and observe squad earlier than getting waived on Saturday.
However he did impress throughout his preseason reps, placing collectively arguably the play of the yr within the NFL throughout Jacksonville’s matchup towards the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 12.
In a powerful particular person effort that rapidly went viral, Rourke scrambled and averted 4 tackles towards the Cowboys earlier than delivering a 21-yard landing cross to Qadree Ollison.
He may sit behind Zappe and Jones on New England’s present QB grouping, however Rourke does have the power to increase performs together with his legs when wanted.
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