Breaking a Canadian Interuniversity Sport football record was not the first thing that came to Simon Nassar’s after U of T’s game against Carleton Ravens, in Ottawa.
The Varsity Blues starting quarterback, and Lawrence Park CI alum, complete 49 passes on 62 attempts, Oct. 4, leaving Dan Feraday’s Oct. 17, 1981 record of 41 completions in his wake.
The achievement was dampened in the pivot’s eyes, however, by the fact that U of T lost the game 53-32.
“One of my teammates came in and told me that I broke it,” he said, in a mid-October interview. “I was like, ‘Wow. Really?’ I didn’t think I had that good of a game, to be honest.”
In addition to the CIS record, Nassar broke, by two yards, a Varsity Blues’ passing yards record of 546 yards, also held by Feraday.
This was Nassar’s first season starting all eight games for the Blues. Last year he came in for Chris Jugovic to start four of the eight games.
Despite four years of U of T memories being in the books, Nassar said he still remembers his days at Lawrence Park fondly, as well as coach Mark Harrison.
He and Panthers teammate Justin Babin, a wide receiver, went on to join the Blues. An injury dashed Babin’s dreams, but Nassar watched then Varsity Blues starting pivot, Andrew Gillis.
“I learned a lot from Andrew Gillis, who was our starting quarterback at the time and watching him play for a couple of year really helped me take over and be the leader that I needed to be,” Nassar said.
On the season, he has a QB efficiency rating of 143.83, threw 179 completions on 280 attempts for 2279 yards, and only allowed two pick-offs. He also had 11 touchdown passes.
The Varsity Blues failed to make the playoffs, but Nassar says he’ll be back at U of T in 2015 for a victory lap, and he doesn’t rule out a career in the CFL, if given the opportunity.
“I’d love to go out and prove that I can play in the league,” he said. “I just need the opportunity.”
Going back to his record-breaking game, the team went out for dinner to celebrate. And the original holder, Feraday, offered up his own accolade to the 23-year-old Nassar.
“The coolest thing is … he actually gave me a picture of the day he broke the record and he signed it,” Nassar said. “He wrote a cool message on it just to congratulate me on it.”
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