Ebner's Football Journey Not Yet Complete

Former Ohio State special teams standout Nate Ebner has only been playing football for a couple of years, and has hopes of making a NFL roster after impressing during Ohio State's Pro Day.

Rugby player-turned-special teams standout Nate Ebner was not the flashiest name among the 13 former Ohio State football players to take part in the school's 2012 Pro Day. Still, once the activities on the indoor practice field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center were finished, Ebner was a popular man.

As the players met up with family, spoke with former teammates and met with members of the media, Ebner was spending time with a different group - NFL scouts. He was found chatting with representatives from several teams, including the Indianapolis Colts.

"I think it went well," Ebner said of his Pro Day performance. "It was as good as I could ask for."

Perhaps Ebner's time playing football is not yet over. Ebner did not get his start in the sport until 2009 and has taken too it like a duck takes to water. The Hilliard (Ohio) Davidson product did not play high school football, only picking up the sport when walking on at Ohio State. His primary sport was rugby, something that served him well as he served as a special teams maven with the Buckeyes.

Ebner recorded 30 tackles in 36 career games with a sack during his OSU career from 2009-11. Those numbers likely didn't get the attention of pro scouts, but his unofficial 4.47 40-yard dash time and 39-inch vertical jump did.

"I did the best I could," said Ebner, who trained with several other former Buckeyes with former OSU strength and conditioning coach Eric Lichter at the D1 Sports Training facility in suburban Columbus. "That's all I can ask for. I can't sit here and worry about it."

The best he could do did get him some positive feedback.

"I had a lot of communication with scouts," Ebner said. "We'll see what happens from here. They thought I had a good day and wanted to know more about me."

As for the future, Ebner said he has no expectations. He wanted to give his best in terms of trying to make the NFL. If that does not happen, Ebner will have no regrets.

And if the NFL is not in the cards for Ebner, don't expect him to slink away from competitive sports. That's simply not in his nature.

"I'd probably go back to rugby without a doubt," he said. "I'm going to be hitting people as much as I can until my body says no. Then I'll think about getting a real job."

Maybe if Nate Ebner does not become a professional football player, he'll become an Olympian. He was a member of the United States' Under-19 and U-20 national teams before becoming a Buckeye.

"There are the Olympics in 2016," Ebner said. "If this doesn't work out, I'm going to get right on that."


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