The New England Patriots selected Ohio State safety Nate Ebner with the 197th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Nate EbnerHe mostly played special teams and went from not playing a down of high school football to being selected in the 6th round.  He says his favorite aspect of the game is kick off returns because “it’s a rush”.

Ebner, who is a star rugby player having won the MVP of the 2007 and 2008 World Rugby Cup, walked on at OSU and credits a lot of his progression to former Patriots LB Mike Vrabel who is now a coach for the Buckeyes.

He also overcame the loss of his father last year, when he passed Ebner’s team mates all wore wrist bands that said “finish strong” which was his dad’s motto.

He is expected to compete for time on the special teams unit.  How much time he plays on defense will be up to how quickly he develops and how healthy those in front of him on the depth chart are.

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photo credit: Columbus Dispatch