GLENDALE, Ari. – If you’ve heard of the name Nate Ebner, chances are good you’ve seen it here at Rugby Wrap Up.
The former Ohio State rugby star was first featured on the site when he was drafted by the New England Patriots in April 2012. Since then we’ve documented his success in the NFL and transformation from a stud junior rugby athlete to one of the League’s best special teamers.
However, this time it’s different – Nate Ebner is playing in his first Super Bowl.
“It’s definitely surreal,” Ebner said, according to the Columbus Dispatch. “I don’t know if it will hit me until after we play in it and I get to sit back and take some time to reflect.”
Ebner had an illustrious high school rugby career, being named the Most Valuable Player of the United States national team at the IRB Junior World Championship on two occasions – in 2007 as a member of the Under 19 and 2008 as a member of the Under 20. And if that wasn’t enough, at 17-years-old, Ebner became the youngest player ever to play in National 7’s team.
But after all of that, Ebner decided to join the Ohio State football team as a walk-on in 2009. The former Buckeye had an immediate impact on the team, becoming one of the Buckeyes’ best special teams plaeyers. Ebner’s special teams prowess was good enough to catch the attention of the New England Patriots when the team drafted him in the sixth round in 2012.
“His development has really been outstanding,” he said, according to the Boston Globe. “I would probably put him in the, not the all-time top, but maybe in the top 5 percent all time of players that I’ve coached, from where they were in college to how they grew in the NFL.
Now, Ebner is suiting up on Super Bowl Sunday!
Make sure you keep an eye out for the dual-sport athlete because he will be a sight to see when the Patriots’ special teams are on the field. The former rugby star has become THE dual-sport athlete other rugby players should try to replicate if they want to become successful in the NFL moving forward.
That’s it for now, and enjoy the Super Bowl! Feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@: RugbyWrapUp,Junoir Blaber, DJ Eberle, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Cody Kuxmann, Jaime Loyd, Karen Ritter , Jamie Wall, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.