7th Rd. (236th): RB Nate Ilaoa, Hawaii
| April 29, 2007 |
Known as "Nasti" by his teammates, Ilaoa's (pronounced ee-LAW-wuh) physical running style inside the red zone and ability to perform as a capable short area receiver could see him shift to fullback at the pro level. Many scouts liken his low center of gravity and pad level to that of former Dallas Cowboys great, Emmitt Smith. Despite his "cannonball" physique, he has excellent cutback ability and change of direction agility.
Born in Oakland, California, the talented athlete spent his prep days at North Stafford High School in Virginia. He lettered three times in football, competing at both halfback and wide receiver as a junior and as a split end during his junior campaign. He was named Washington Post Metro Player of the Year and Commonwealth District Player of the Year as a senior. Nate was also a two-time All-League, All-State, All-Region, All-Area, and first-team All-District pick. He amassed 890 yards receiving and 1,200 yards rushing while registering 25 touchdowns in 2000. As a junior, he gained 1,300 yards receiving while scoring ten times.
With his father a career military man, the family moved to Hawaii from Virginia and Ilaoa enrolled at Hawaii in 2001, spending the season on the scout team. Nate was bothered most of the 2002 season with a shoulder injury that forced him to miss two games. He started eight of twelve contests as a receiver, lining up in the "H" position for four games and at the "Y" position for four others. He gained 56 yards with a score on six carries (9.3 avg) and ranked fifth on the squad with 46 receptions for 532 yards (11.6 avg) and three touchdowns, finishing with 588 all-purpose yards.
A knee injury in the 2004 season opener vs. Appalachian State would force Nate to miss the rest of that campaign as a medical hardship. When he failed to recover in time for the 2004 season, Ilaoa was forced to miss the entire season.
He returned to the gridiron as a halfback in 2005. Nate started seven of eleven games, leading the team with 85 attempts for 643 yards (7.6 avg) and six touchdowns. He grabbed 36 passes for 274 yards (7.6 avgv) and a score, as he totaled 917 all-purpose yards. Ilaoa was granted a sixth year of eligibility in 2006 and made the most of that opportunity. He earned All-Western Athletic Conference first-team honors, as he ranked second in the WAC in scoring (9.0 ppg) and finished twelfth in the nation with an average of 139.5 all-purpose yards per game. He led the team with a career-high 990 yards and thirteen touch-downs on 131 carries (7.6 avg). He ranked third on the squad and fifth in the conference with 67 receptions for 837 yards (12.5 avg), including five scores. He totaled 108 points and 1,827 all-purpose yards, sharing team Offensive Warrior Club Award honors with QB Colt Brennan.
In 37 games at Hawaii, Nate started 27 times, including eighteen contests at halfback. He rushed 222 times for 1,689 yards (7.6 avg) and twenty touchdowns. He made 151 catches for 1,694 yards (11.2 avg) and nine scores. Ilaoa posted three solo tackles and 174 points while gaining 3,383 all-purpose yards, an average of 91.43 yards per game.
Nate holds the school career-records for running backs with 151 receptions for 1,694 yards, topping the previous marks of 73 catches for 895 yards by Gary Allen (1978-81) ... His 1,689 yards rushing rank tenth in Hawaii annals ... His twenty touchdown runs tied him with Glenn Frietas (1993-96) for fifth on the school's all-time record list behind Michael Carter (39, 1990-93), Jamal Farmer (31, 1988-91), Heikoti Fakava (31, 1985-88) and Larry Sherrer (26, 1969-71) ... Ilaoa's 3,383 all-purpose yardsrank fourth in school history, surpassed only by Chad Owens (5,461 yards, 2001-04), Gary Allen (4,558 yards) and Jeff Snyder (4,137 yards, 1989-91) ... Nate's 67 receptions for 837 yards in 2006 broke the school season-records for running backs, topping the old marks of 42 catches for 435 yards by Charles Tharp in 1997 ... His 1,827 all-purpose yards in 2006 rank third in school history behind Chad Owens (1,866 in 2004) and Jeff Snyder (1,958 in 1990).
All-Western Athletic Conference first-team selection ... Shared team Offensive Warrior Club Award honors with QB Colt Brennan ... Super Sleeper Team pick by The NFL Draft Report ... Earned WAC Player of the Week accolades vs. Nevada-Las Vegas ... Started eleven of thirteen games, missing the Louisiana Tech clash after injuring his ankle vs. Utah State ... Still managed to lead the team and rank fifth in the WAC with an average of 74.42 yards per game rushing ... Ranked 29th nationally and fifth in the league with an average of 5.25 receptions per game ... His average of 9.0 points scored per game was second-best in the conference and ranked ninth in the nation ... Ranked twelfth in the NCAA Division 1-A ranks with an average of 139.5 all-purpose yards per game ... Led the team with a career-high 990 yards and thirteen touchdowns on 131 carries (7.6 avg) ... Was third on the squad with a school season-record (for running backs) 67 receptions for 837 Yards (12.5 avg) and five scores ... Recorded one solo tackle and amassed 1,827 all-purpose yards, the third-best season total in school history ... Ran for over 100 yards vs. Nevada-Las Vegas, Nevada, San Jose State and Purdue, adding a 100-yard receiving performance in the Utah State clash.
Appeared in eleven games, starting seven contests at halfback ... Sat out the New Mexico State clash after injuring his big toe vs. Louisiana Tech ... Led the team with 643 yards and six touchdowns on 85 carries (7.6 avg) ... Caught 36 passes for 274 yards (7.6 avg) and one score ... Made one solo tackle and registered 42 points ... Amassed 917 all-purpose yards ... Ran for over 100 yards vs. San Diego State in the season finale.
Sat out the year.
Granted a medical hardship waiver.
Played in twelve games, starting four contests at "H" receiver and four more at the "Y" receiver position ... Finished fifth on the team with 46 receptions for 532 yards (11.6 avg) and three touchdowns ... Rushed six times for 56 yards (9.3 avg) and one score ... Added one solo tackle, as he amassed 588 all-purpose yards ...
Redshirted as a freshman.
CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS
4.66 in the 40-yard dash ... 405-pound bench press ... 505-pound squat ... 286-pound power clean ... 31.5-inch vertical jump ... 29 ¾-inch arm length ... 9-inch hands ... Right-handed ... Wears contacts ... 22/30 Wonderlic score.
COMBINE AGILITY TESTS
4.84 in the 40-yard dash ... 1.68 10-yard dash ... 2.81 20-yard dash ... 4.42 20-yard shuttle ... 11.78 60-yard shuttle ... 7.10 three-cone drill ... Bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times. 30 Inch Vertical ... 8.07 Broad Jump.
Attended North Stafford (Va.) High School, playing football for head coach Chris Beatty ... Lettered three times in football, competing at both halfback and wide receiver as a junior and as a split end during his junior campaign ... Named Washington Post Metro Player of the Year and Commonwealth District Player of the Year as a senior ... Two-time All-League, All-State, All-Region, All-Area, and first-team All-District pick ... Amassed 890 yards receiving and 1,200 yards rushing while registering 25 touchdowns in 2000 ... As a junior, he gained 1,300 yards receiving while scoring ten times.
History major ... Son of Vaisa and Filipo Ilaoa ... Born 4/04/83 in Oakland, California ... Resides in Kailua, O'ahu, Hawaii.