Written by Pat Clifton    Thursday, 23 February 2012 11:56    PDF Print Write e-mail
Ebner Tweets Interest in 7s Contract
Sevens - USA Sevens Men

In a Wednesday Twitter conversation with Middlesex Rugby, age-grade Eagle and gridiron Buckeye at Ohio State Nate Ebner indicated he was going to try for an NFL contract, but is enticed by the prospect of a being a pro 7s player.

"Going the NFL route first n see where it takes me. But it's def hard to resist trying to be apart of an olympic rugby team and representing the country!" Ebner tweeted. "Dunno how long I'll be able to stay away from #USArugby."

More than 300 of the top pro prospects were invited to the NFL combine, held Sunday through Saturday in Indianapolis, to compete to become one of 254 draft selections April 26-28.

Ebner, a special teams specialist at Ohio State, was not invited to the combine. However, it's entirely likely he'll work out for scouts at Ohio State's pro day March 9.  Another rugby player-turned-gridiron star is Stanford defensive back Johnson Bademosi. He, too, did not receive an invite to the NFL combine. The Cardinal's pro day is scheduled for March 22.

If Ebner and Bademosi aren't selected, they could be signed as undrafted free agents directly after the draft. Teams often sign upwards 25 undrafted rookies.
NFL teams are allowed to carry 95 players into training camp (which can begin up to 15 days prior to each team's first preseason game) and must pare down to a 53-man roster before the regular season. They're then allowed to carry an eight-man practice squad. So Ebner and Bademosi's quests for NFL contracts could extend through August.

Then again, they could stall much sooner without good performances in pro days or an offer about a week following the draft.

It's not impossible Ebner will join the pre-Hong Kong 7s camp in Chula Vista, Calif. after his pro day, or the pre-Europe camp after the draft, as he and coach Al Caravelli have a kept a consistent dialogue.