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Once upon a time, the only people familiar with Nate Ebner were rugby fans attending the College Rugby Championship in Philadelphia. His first CRC appearance occurred in 2010 for Ohio State, and he returned in 2011.
Previously, Ebner had been a rugby USA U-19 and U-20 standout at fullback, voted MVP of those squads in 2006 and 2008. He was the youngest player to participate in the U-19 program.
Ebner was a football walk-on for the Buckeyes, not having played gridiron in high school in Cincinnati. He was voted to the Big Ten Conference All-Academic team.
The New England Patriots drafted the Ohio State star in the sixth round of the 2012 draft. Ebner played most frequently on special teams as a kick off tackler specialist, but also took snaps as safety.
He earned Super Bowl rings from the Patriots two victories versus the Seattle Seahawks and, in 2017, against the Atlanta Falcons. He was named to the NFL’s 2016 All Pro Second Team.
He qualified to play rugby for the USA 7s in 2016, appearing in many tournaments as a prelude to the Rio Olympic Games in August 2016, where he scored the team’s final pool try against New Zealand.
He was the first NFL player to compete in the Olympics, proving that 7s and gridiron, for the talented, mix very well.