Ohio QB Rourke wins Jon Cornish Trophy as top Canadian in NCAA football

Nathan Rourke is making the Jon Cornish Trophy his own.

For the second straight year, the Ohio Bobcats quarterback has captured the trophy, given annually to the top Canadian player in NCAA football. The native of Oakville, Ont., was the inaugural winner in 2018.

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Voting for award, which was held after the NCAA bowl season, was conducted by a panel of 14 voters that consisted of CFL player evaluation, Canadian media and former NCAA players with a connection to Canada.

Rourke finished tied in voting with Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, a redshirt freshman from Sherwood Park, Alta. The two had 51 votes but Rourke had more first-place ballots (six, two more than Hubbard).

Chase Claypool of Abbotsford, B.C., a junior receiver at Notre Dame, finished third, one vote behind the leaders.

The honour is named after Jon Cornish, a native of New Westminster, B.C., who starred as a running back at Kansas before enjoying a stellar CFL career with the Calgary Stampeders. Over seven seasons, Cornish was named the league's top Canadian three times (2012, 2013, 2014), its outstanding player (2013) and the recipient of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete (2013).

Cornish also played on two Grey Cup-winning teams (2008, 2014).

Rourke led Ohio to a MAC championship, a win in the Frisco Bowl and 9-4 overall record last season. He finished 164-of-274 passing (59.9 per cent) for 2,434 yards with 23 TDs and eight interceptions. He also ran for 860 yards on 134 carries (6.42-yard average) and 15 touchdowns.

Rourke was selected as a second team all-conference quarterback and three times was named the MAC East offensive player of the week.

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