Former Lehigh quarterback Nick Shafnisky, '17, speaks to a reporter after defeating Bucknell University at Goodman Stadium on Nov. 5, 2016. Shafnisky signed with the Montreal Alouettes, a team in the Canadian Football League, in January. (Roshan Giyanani/B&W Staff)

Former Lehigh quarterback Nick Shafnisky continues football career in CFL

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During his senior season, former Lehigh quarterback Nick Shafnisky led the Mountain Hawks to a 45-21 win over rival Lafayette College in the 2016 Patriot League Championship game.

That same season, he was named the 2016 Patriot League and Eastern College Athletic Conference offensive player of the year.

Shafnisky graduated from Lehigh in May 2017, but his football career didn’t end then. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League on Jan. 23.

Shafnisky ranks fourth in Lehigh history in career completions with 595, passing yards with 7,467 and passing touchdowns with 54. He stands at third in career completion percentage with 63.37.

During his four years at Lehigh, Shafnisky started 30 games and appeared in 45. He rushed for 1,611 yards and 30 touchdowns.

He was a two-time MVP of the Lehigh-Lafayette game and led the Mountain Hawks to ECAC FCS team of the year honors his senior season.

Prior to signing with the Alouettes, Shafnisky was given a non-roster invite to the Philadelphia Eagles’ rookie camp last summer. The former Lehigh quarterback switched to defensive back at the camp to increase his chances of landing a spot on the roster.

The Eagles did not offer Shafnisky a contract, and it wasn’t until a few months later that he was signed to a professional football team contract.

Shafnisky’s former teammate, Brandon Bialkowski, ’14, was the last Lehigh football player to sign with a CFL team. Bialkowski briefly played as a quarterback for the Ottawa Redblacks.

After ending last season 3-15, the Alouettes named former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman as their new head coach at the end of last year.

Shafnisky is one of seven quarterbacks on the Alouettes’ roster, which includes former NFL quarterback Josh Freeman.

Last season, three different quarterbacks saw serious playing time for the Alouettes, but after the team finished with the worst record in the CFL, Sherman will be expected to play some new faces.

The CFL’s preseason begins in May, and the Alouettes’ first game is June 16.

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