The Ohio Bobcats won seven of their eight MAC games last year, losing to Toledo in the conference championship. With a senior-laden roster on offense and defense, the Bobcats could be even better in 2023. We’re looking at the Bobcats’ roster changes, schedule, and 2024 NFL Draft prospects.
Ohio Bobcats Roster and Depth Chart Changes
The Bobcats didn’t undergo a massive set of roster changes this offseason. Losing receiver James Bostic, one of their best playmakers, to the NFL will sting. However, the Bobcats didn’t have a draftable talent last year and avoided losing anyone of note in the transfer portal.
Bobcats head coach Tim Albin was able to add receiver Jailen Hammer from Butte College, who has the opportunity to produce early. Hammer caught 42 receptions for 800 yards and 14 touchdowns at the JUCO level.
The other notable addition was Holy Cross safety Walter Reynolds. With 10 interceptions and 30 pass deflections in 41 games, Reynold’s ball hawking could be a difference-maker for the Bobcats.
Ohio NFL Draft Prospects
Kurtis Rourke, QB
The brother of former Ohio great and current B.C. Lions star Nathan Rourke, Kurtis Rourke is quite different from his predecessor. Kurtis has two seasons of eligibility left and is coming off a torn ACL, so he’s far from a lock to be in the 2024 draft. Still, he’s worth noting and evaluating because he’s talented.
Assuming Rourke is back and healthy this season, he profiles as a traditional pocket-passing quarterback with low upside as a rusher. The 6’3″, 211-pounder plays with heavy feet, negating some of the fluidity he shows once works up to speed. Rourke can get upfield enough to respect in the red zone and short-yard situations but little more.
His passing ability is more intriguing. Rourke has a strong arm that easily hits all levels of the field. He’ll test tight windows — his quicker release is an asset when he gets aggressive.
There’s certainly room for growth, though. Rourke is prone to checkdowns and should be reminded to continue pushing the ball downfield when possible. He’s also not great at identifying and executing against pressure, which could influence his decision to throw so many shorter routes.
Right now, Rourke is a late Day 3 potential prospect who has to get healthy but has the physical gifts to fight for a backup job in the NFL.
Sam Wiglusz, WR
It didn’t take long for Sam Wiglusz to make his presence felt at Ohio after transferring from Ohio State in 2021. Wiglusz is not physically impressive at only 5’11” and 188 pounds, but he knows how to get open and maximize his talent. At the NFL level, he easily projects to the slot.
Wiglusz had some monstrously productive games in 2022. He showed excellent concentration and body control to go with fleet feet that allow him to stop on a dime.
He’s not overly fast downfield, and his lack of bulk is a concern, but Wiglusz is more competitive than expected on jump balls. He checks off the boxes as someone easily undersold but will punish a defense that allows him to find gaps in zone coverages or be matched against a linebacker or safety.
It’s always hard to value slot receivers who aren’t athletically dominant. But Wiglusz is a good player who can stick in the league if he’s in the right situation. He has a Day 3 grade and should have the chance to compete in the all-star game circuit next winter.
Ohio Bobcats Schedule
- Week 1
Aug. 26: at San Diego State Aztecs
- Week 2
Sept. 2: vs. LIU Sharks
- Week 3
Sept. 9: at Florida Atlantic Owls
- Week 4
Sept. 16: vs. Iowa State Cyclones
- Week 5
Sept. 23: at Bowling Green Falcons
- Week 6
- Week 7
Oct. 7: vs. Kent State Golden Flashes
- Week 8
Oct. 14: at Northern Illinois Huskies
- Week 9
Oct. 21: vs. Western Michigan Broncos
- Week 10
Oct. 28: vs. Miami (OH) RedHawks
- Week 11
- Week 12
Nov. 7: at Buffalo Bulls
- Week 13
Nov. 15: vs. Central Michigan Chippewas
- Week 14
Nov. 24: at Akron Zips
- Week 15