Scout Radio: Eagles Rookie RB Nate Ilaoa

Eagles rookie running back Nate Ilaoa talked to's Ed Thompson about the source of his amazing foot speed despite his fullback-sized body, how he's settling in with the Eagles, battling back from a pair of injuries in college, his pre-draft experience and much more!

Watch some game film from a University of Hawaii football game last year, and you'll rub your eyes in disbelief as you watch the foot speed, quickness and cuts that Nate Ilaoa makes. Despite his 5-foot-9, 248-pound frame, Ilaoa can really move. And unlike many running backs, instead of relying on making defenders miss, he's just as likely to take them head-on. It wasn't uncommon to see a defensive back try to ready himself to react to one of Ilaoa's nifty cuts, only to literally bounce off his body as he rolled straight through the would-be tackler instead.

"I think that just plays in my favor, having the ability to do both pretty well," Ilaoa explained during a recent Scout Radio interview. "It puts defenders in kind of a limbo type of situation."

Nate Ilaoa arrives at minicamp (AP Photo)
Obviously thrilled to be a member of the Eagles organization, the seventh-round pick figured he was going to hear from Philadelphia or one of two other NFL teams on draft day.

"I had been talking to one of the scouts from the Steelers for a while and I thought they would have been a good fit as well," he said. "And the Giants, too, because they're more of a power-running football team."

Many draft experts figured that "Nasti Nate" would play fullback at the pro level. While he's not fully sure yet about what his role will be this year, the Eagles don't have Ilaoa on the roster as a fullback.

"They have me at tailback, maybe a short-yardage type situation," he said. "They haven't basically come out and told me, but you know, that's the whole point of these camps.

"It's not the fact that you can play football anymore because everybody at this level can play. It's just a matter of if you can fit into their system." subscribers can listen to 5 minutes of highlights from Nate Ilaoa's Scout Radio interview where he talks about the surprising source of his quickness and moves, the weight he'd like to play at this season as a rookie, how he's being treated by the veterans so far and much more. Just click the link below to listen in:

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the network and syndicated through's NFL team pages.

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