ATHENS, Ohio – Senior quarterback Nathan Rourke (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) of the Ohio football team is set to attend the 2019 Manning Passing Academy as a camp counselor this week (June 27-30) at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.
The Manning Passing Academy, which was originally founded in 1996 by former Ole Miss and NFL quarterback Archie Manning, is celebrating its 24th anniversary in 2019. Archie Manning serves as executive director of the academy while his three sons, Cooper Manning, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, all serve as senior associate directors. The purpose of the Manning Passing Academy is to create an environment of greater understanding of, and the proficiency with, the fundamentals, techniques, skills, motivation and sportsmanship necessary for success at the individual offensive skill positions in the sport of football, while expanding the overall knowledge and strategy of offensive play and defensive coverage.
In addition to serving as a counselor to Manning Passing Academy's young campers, Rourke will receive instruction from the Mannings and take part in a throwing competition. Other collegiate quarterbacks set to participate in the Manning Passing Academy as camp counselors include Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa.
"The opportunity to represent Ohio at a camp as prestigious as the Manning Passing Academy along with the top quarterbacks in the nation is truly an honor," said Rourke. "I look forward to learning from the Mannings, having a great experience and returning to Athens a better player. I want to thank Coach (Frank) Solich for his role in helping me get this opportunity."
Rourke, who is a physical activity and sport coaching major, is coming off of a 2018 junior campaign in which he earned All-Mid-American Conference Second Team honors for the second year in a row. Rourke completed 164 of his 274 pass attempts (59.9 percent completion percentage, ninth-best in program history) for a career-high 2,434 yards (fourth-most in program history) and a career-high 23 touchdown passes (second-most in program history). He finished the regular season ranked fourth in the MAC in passing yards and third in passing touchdowns. His 187.2 passing yards per game in 2018 rank as the eighth-highest average in program history while his 14.7 passing yards per completion led the MAC, ranked seventh nationally and were good for the ninth-highest average in program history. He averaged 8.9 yards per passing attempt, which was good for first in the MAC, 10th in the country and tied for the highest average in program history. His passing efficiency rating of 156.3 in 2018 is tops in program history and ranked first in the MAC and 14th nationally. Rourke also ran for 860 yards (66.2 yards per game) to rank second on the team and led the squad with 15 rushing touchdowns, with the latter tying him for the third-most in a single season in program history. In all, Rourke accounted for 3,294 yards of total offense (second-most in program history), with his 253.4 yards per game of total offense ranking as the third-highest average in program history and his 8.07 yards per play ranking as the highest average in program history. He was responsible for 38 total touchdowns in 2018, which is tied for the second-most in program history. He was named MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week three times. Rourke repeated as the winner of the second annual Joe Cornish Trophy, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding Canadian player in NCAA Football.
Rourke is ranked second in program history with 40 career passing touchdowns, fourth with 4,637 career passing yards and seventh with 325 career completions. He has also tallied 36 career rushing touchdowns, which ranks as the third-most in program history. His 77 career touchdowns responsible for are the second-most in program history.
Rourke led an Ohio offense that ranked 12th in the nation in 2018 with a conference-high and program-record 521 points scored and 40.1 points per game. The Bobcats posted a conference-high 6,068 yards of total offense (second-most in program history) to rank 11th in the nation, with Ohio's 466.8 total yards per game leading the MAC and setting a program record.
With Rourke under center, Ohio won nine games for the second year in a row and achieved back-to-back bowl victories with a 27-0 shutout of San Diego State in the 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl.
Ohio will kick off the 2019 regular season on Saturday, Aug. 31, with a home matchup against Rhode Island. The contest is slated to get underway at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN+. For ticket information, call the ticket office at 1-800-575-2287 or click here.