With the NFL Draft being completed and the Eagles announcing all the UDFA signings yesterday, everyone thought that would be it for a while. Well, we were wrong. In the last hour, the Eagles announced that they’ve signed defensive end Matt Leo from Iowa State through the International Player Pathway Program.
Leo originates from South Australia where he grew up and played Rugby League. He went on to become a full-time plumber before having the revelation of trying to play in the NFL when watching Superbowl XLVII. Leo moved to the United States and joining up with Arizona Western Community College because he knew Australian defensive tackle Jesse Williams had attended that same JUCO before moving on to the NFL. He earned multiple division one college football offers from programs like Oklahoma, UCF and Mississippi State before making the decision to join up with Iowa State.
The 27-year-old enjoyed a 3-year career that saw his 2018 stat line read like this: 19 tackles in 13 games, 6 tackles for a loss, and 2 sacks. 2019 saw Matt play in a key reserve spot for Iowa at defensive end, rallying to 14 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and one sack. Leo stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs 275 pounds which is incredible for the position he plays and he’s extremely quick and agile for his size.
The Eagles may have gotten themselves a steal from the International Player Pathway Program in Leo, who has plenty of experience through his years with Iowa State and a desirable physical stature for the position. Obviously, he still has a long way in terms of development, but he’s not the first Aussie project to be taken under the wings of this coaching staff…just ask Jordan Mailata.
Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports