Eli Hanback preparing for NFL, after career-defining moment at UVA

After sealing the long-awaited win against the Hokies with a defensive touchdown, UVA senior Eli Hanback is hoping to hear his named called in the NFL Draft.

Eli Hanback preparing for NFL, after career-defining moment at UVA
Eli Hanback celebrates his touchdown against Virginia Tech (Source: wvir)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football twitter account has put together a bracket, for fans to vote on the best play from the season.

They're down to just four.

Hasise Dubois’ touchdown catch in the Orange Bowl.

Bryce Hall's goal line stop against Florida State.

Bryce Perkins’ run for a two-point conversion against the Seminoles.

And the strip-sack fumble for a touchdown against Virginia Tech

“I got to vote for that one," says UVA senior defensive tackle Eli Hanback. "If you’re a UVA fan, you look at all those plays, who do you want to beat the most? You want to beat Virginia Tech, and that one sealed the deal.”

Hanback recovered the ball in the endzone, after Mandy Alonso knocked it loose.

The touchdown was extra special for Hanback.

The senior defensive tackle grew up a UVA fan.

He’s hoping to get picked in the NFL Draft next week, and was asked to compare which moment would be bigger for him.

“Scoring that touchdown against Virginia Tech was a feeling I don’t know if I’ve ever felt before in my life," says Hanback. "Everyone says it’s those moments where stuff goes quiet around you, and you don’t hear anything else. It was one of those moments. It was unbelievable. I can’t describe it. But getting drafted, on the other hand, would be a dream come true, and something that very few people get to experience.”

Hanback wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, and UVA’s Pro Day was cancelled, so the 6-foot-4, 300-pound Richmond-native put together his own Pro Day, and sent the video to NFL scouts.

“We got some numbers up for the guys who were there," says Hanback. "I think we ran through just about everything. Might not have taken all the reps that we would have at a normal Pro Day. Some stuff we did, we only got one shot at it, but just having the opportunity to do something was nice.”

And Hanback would like nothing more than to have the opportunity to play in the NFL.

“My favorite teams since I was a little kid growing up was the Eagles," says Hanback. "That’s been my team my whole life. When it comes to the day, it’d be awesome to play for them, but anyone who wants to give me the opportunity to play is going to be my team now.”

The NFL Draft begins next Thursday with the first round, .followed by Rounds 2-though-7 on Friday and Saturday.

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