Nate Ebner has brought a taste of Patriots football to USA Rugby.
The Patriots special teams player, who should be reporting to training camp, has been excused to play in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“From everything you hear about the Patriots environment, I think he embodies that in so many ways with his work ethic, his attitude, and his attention to detail,” US Rugby sevens captain Madison Hughes said in July. “I think those are some of the big traits you hear about guys on the Patriots team. That willingness to do the hard word and do what ever it takes prepare yourself as an athlete.”
New England Patriots special teams player Nate Ebner joined SiriusXM NFL radio to discuss his pursuit of fulfilling his Olympic dream and how the Patriots have supported his decision as an organization.
As far as Ebner is concerned, the lessons and the practice he’s going through for the Rugby team can and will help him when he returns to the football field.
Nate Ebner heard the question more times than he can remember after he arrived at the U.S. Olympic Training Center two weeks ago:
Why would a New England Patriots special teamer with a Super Bowl ring and new contract spend his offseason trying to make the U.S. Olympic rugby team?
To understand why Ebner politely smiles whenever he's asked that, you have to go back eight years and flip the context:
Why would an accomplished rugby player think he could walk on for one of the nation's most prestigious college football programs?
Ebner Bringing Patriot Way to Rio
AUGUST 5, 2016
Nate Ebner on Olympic Dreams
JUNE 22, 2016
Nate Ebner moved one step closer to achieving his dream this week when he was added to the USA Rugby Men's Sevens for a tournament in Hong Kong. The Patriots safety is on a leave of absence from the team as he tries to make the U.S. Olympic team that will compete in the Rio Games this summer.
Ebner was named an injury replacement for sprinter Carlin Isles on Thursday and was with the team on Friday in Hong Kong for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The Olympic squad will be announced on July 5.
The USA Rugby Men's Sevens team hasn’t been shy about showing their appreciation for the Super Bowl champion and 2008 Rugby World Cup MVP.
“He’s developed a lot,” Hughes said last week, after U.S. coach Mike Friday reportedly said in April that Ebner had “a 50-50 chance.”
“I think he had quite a lot of rugby experience from when he was younger, and I think that’s allowed him to step into this stage, because I think if he didn’t have that rugby experience, coming in now he’d be completely lost and wouldn’t be able to handle it at all. So I think he’s been doing well. I think he’s been a good addition so far.
Nate Ebner will probably take a well-deserved break after the New England Patriots’ season ends on Sunday.
Ebner, a safety and special teams standout for New England, will have performed on two of the world’s biggest sporting stages in the last seven months.
In August, he was a member of the United States rugby sevens Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro. On Sunday, he’ll take the field in Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium.
“They’re different,” said Ebner, who was the first active NFL player to ever compete in the Olympics. “But both very special, both mean the world to me.”
Ebner in Hong Kong for HSBC
APRIL 8, 2016
Ebner Has "Decent Chance"
JUNE 8, 2016
Memory of Father Drives Ebner
APRIL 5, 2016