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
"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."
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.
|Nate Ilaoa arrives at minicamp (AP Photo)|
"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
Scout.com 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:
Listen to Audio
|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 Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.