Oregon scout-team player Dane Ebanez had played a handful of snaps in his career, but never made it onto the field in a bowl game.
Ebanez is 5’9″ and 180 pounds. He doesn’t have a scholarship, and he has taken out around $70,000 in student loans to pay his way through Oregon, according to John Canzano of the Oregonian.
Canzano wrote a fantastic profile of Ebanez before Oregon played Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.
It turns out that Ebanez is a Rudy-esque figure — a walk-on who has no business playing alongside college football’s elite, but has worked hard and found his way onto one of the best teams in the country.
He grew up in North Pole, Alaska, and he explained, “They have candy canes for light posts on the main street, and a giant Santa house.”
He’s graduating in the spring, meaning the Fiesta Bowl was his last game ever, and his coaches and teammates love him. So it should come as no surprise that one of his teammates pulled a clever trick to ensure that Ebanez would get on the field at the Fiesta Bowl.
Apparently, his teammate, Keanon Lowe plotted to get Ebanez into the game. Lowe faked an injury as they broke the special teams huddle, prompting assistants to wave for Ebanez, his back-up on the kickoff team, to hurry onto the field.
It happened with 2:30 left in the game and Oregon up 35-17.