He has already been tabbed "the next Larry Izzo" by many Patriots backers, but it wasn't too long ago when Nate Ebner, who was selected in the sixth round by New England Saturday, was foreign to the gridiron.
In fact, Ebner was once a certified bad ass on the rugby fields at Ohio State and had bursts of speed that left many an onlooker with fallen jaws, as this video so perfectly captures:
Ebner was a rugby player at OSU until his third year of college, when he walked on to the Buckeyes football squad.
Ebner also has a link to the Patriots past, as one of his primary coaches at Ohio State was former linebacker Mike Vrabel.
Ebner told the Boston Herald about Vrabel and the importance of special teams play:
”I’d say (Vrabel) highly stressed (it). He understood it was just as an important part of game as anything else. He understood how important I took my role as a special teams player . . . he made it clear to me, the things you do every day here at Ohio State, you can play in the NFL for years doing that. He knew the importance of special teams. We tried to spread that throughout the team.”
It shouldn't be too hard for Patriots fans to create a nickname for the special teamer, as fans at OSU called him by the catchy name of "War Daddy."