This interview with Nathan Rourke was completed by our newest addition to Draft Diamonds Jeff Fidler. This is a very thorough and in depth interview with a very solid quarterback prospect in Nathan Rourke from Ohio. Check out some of these amazing answers!
I know you played a year at F.S.C.C. , can you talk about your past to present & how you arrived at Ohio? What have you learned from that experience?
I was born and raised in Canada, my hometown is a suburb of Toronto called Oakville. After my junior year of high school I transferred to a school in Alabama in hopes of getting recruited to a D1 school because in Canada I had not received a lot of interest from schools. I received no FBS offers out of high school, so I enrolled in FSCC. From there I was able to earn offers from Ohio and Akron. I am extremely happy that I made the right decision to come to Ohio to become a Bobcat. My journey from Canada, to Alabama, to Kansas, and finally to Ohio have taught me the importance of keeping faith in God and His plan for me and to rely on a strong supporting cast that I find in my family.
When did you first fall in love with the QB position? Regardless of competition what are the 2-3 most important traits for a QB?
I first fell in love with football when I was around the age of 3 or 4. My mum tells the story of me deciding to not watch cartoons as a child, instead choosing the 1996-97 Green Bay Packers Super Bowl season highlight video. Brett Favre was my hero growing up and my inspiration for becoming a QB. The most important traits for a QB in my opinion are leadership, mental toughness/grit, and being coachable.
What’s the biggest off the field obstacle you had to face & overcome?
Nothing comes to mind!
Can you take me through your favorite route designs/concepts? And Why?
I love rollout/boot plays, I am very comfortable on the run. My favourite route to throw is any out breaking route, a corner route, an out route, etc.
Pre-Snap what/who are you most focused/concerned about & why? How does it change, if it does, according to down & distance?
Pre-snap progression starts with the safeties, then the box/ the backers, then the corners, then the front.
If you could have 1 WR & 1 RB to throw to in the pros who would it be & why? Curious as to what type of guys a QB might prefer. I’m sure “w/e gets open” is great lol but again I’m just curious about the “type”? Bigger body/possession types or quicker/smaller guys & why?
I love receivers that you can lean on in key moments in the game. Recievers that you know will make a play when you need them to get open. I would love to have players like AJ Green, Julio Jones, and Amari Cooper.
You’re stranded on an island and can only take 2 of your favorite music artist/groups with you. Who are they?
I’d be thinking about who would help get me off the island rather than the quality/type of the music!
Tyson said “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Prep work/X&O’s are great and a must but when everything starts flying around you whats the 1 thing you need from your OL & Targets in the field (WR, TE, RB etc) What do you need from them the most?
Mental Toughness. When a guy has had a bad game with a couple drops or missed assignments, I need them to be able to have the confidence in themselves to rise to the occasion when called on. I will do my part to show that person the confidence that myself as well as his teammates has in him.
When I look at a player I always look for “traits that translate”. What are your traits that translate to the next level? Biggest strengths/assets?
I am coachable and I have a true passion for the game/desire to get better.
Whats more important for you film room or practice/on the field work & why?
In my opinion a QB cannot thrive without both. Learn from the film room, apply on the practice field.
Can you take me through your film study process from start to finish?
When watching myself I look to see how well I execute my assignment on a given play. I look at the defense, see what coverage, blitz, front they are in. Then I look for my ball placement, mechanics, body language. Finally I watch the rest of the offense to see if I can keep my teammates accountable, knowing they are likely doing the same for me. When watching an opponent I watch for tendencies primarily. I see how their DC calls the game in certain situations, against different formations, with different personnel. I watch the defenses’ personnel groupings and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. I also like seeing what the offense did, in case it worked and why.
Best QB to ever play & playing now, if their a different player& why? Do you model your game after anyone, look at anyone in the pros or in college?
Best QB in my opinion is Aaron Rodgers, someone that I definitely model my game after. I believe he is the best thrower of the football in the history of the game.
Not math class.
Favorite TV show(s)
Lets say you’re down by 4-5. On the 50, no timeouts. 35-40 seconds left. What are the routes/plays you’re calling & why?
There would be a lot of variables here, based on what has worked in the game so far, what the defense is doing. I am confident that any play from the playbook would work in this situation.
Best advice you could give someone breaking down/evaluating QB’s. Mistakes often made. Things not talked about? Something you must look for?
Too much weight is placed on things you can measure, not enough into what you can’t.
Best players you played with & against?
Best defensive players I’ve played against are Quentin Poling and Dom Cizauskas.
What do you have to improve on the most? What have you been doing to fix/help it?
I’ve focused on really immersing myself in the offense, watching a lot of film in order to coach up the younger players the best I can.
Biggest goals for the season? Any games you’re looking forward to or have circled?
Bring a MAC Championship to Athens, every game is a big game.
What’s one thing you want people to know about you? Coaches, Gm’s etc if you were in a room with them?
Playing QB is something I would do for free. The opportunity to play professionally would be a dream come true, and something I would not let go to waste.