Robert Kraft Calls Nate Ebner ‘Prototype Patriot,’ Hopes He Medals In Rio

Nate Ebner has the full support of the New England Patriots as he pursues his Olympic dream in Rio, including the man at the top of the organization, team owner Robert Kraft.

Kraft was one of several people interviewed for Bleacher Report’s stellar video feature on Ebner, who took a leave of absence from the Patriots to represent the United States in Olympic rugby sevens. In it, Kraft raved about the special teams ace, saying the organization knew even before drafting Ebner that he’d be a perfect fit in New England.

“When you think about a young man who was a walk-on at Ohio State, and then after one year, being the (Buckeyes’) Most Outstanding Special Teams Player — prototype Patriot,” Kraft said.

Ebner and the rest of the U.S. sevens squad begin their quest for Olympic gold Tuesday when they battle Argentina in the first of three pool-play matches. Team USA — known as the Eagles — also will take on host nation Brazil and gold medal favorite Fiji.

“We’re all revved up as an organization just hoping that we can get to see him on a medal stand,” Kraft said.

Bleacher Report’s Ebner feature definitely is worth a watch for Patriots fans, who likely will get a kick out of the opening scene. It features a very young Ebner being interviewed after one of his Pop Warner football games.

“My line, they blocked great, and the QB got me the ball and everything,” he told the interviewer. “Everything worked out fine, so we did good.”

Prototype Patriot, indeed.

See the full 2016 Olympic rugby schedule >>

Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Dec 15, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, New England Patriots defensive back Nate Ebner (43) heads back to the sideline during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

TMZ logo

© 2019 NESN

NESN Shows

Partner of USATODAY Sports Digital Properties