Monday, November 25, 2013
UNC TE Eric Ebron to enter NFL draft
By Heather Dinich
North Carolina junior tight end Eric Ebron will forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2014 NFL draft following UNC’s bowl game, the school announced on Monday.
TE Eric Ebron is saying goodbye to North Carolina and hello to the NFL after the season.
Ebron, who leads the Tar Heels with 50 receptions for 774 yards and has three touchdowns, is ranked as the No. 12 overall player on ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper’s Big Board. He is ranked No. 14 by ESPN’s Todd McShay. Both analysts consider him the top tight end in the country.
“I’ve had a great time in Chapel Hill, and I appreciate everything Coach [Larry] Fedora and the coaching staff has done for me,” Ebron said in a prepared statement. “Coming to Carolina allowed me to develop as both a person and a football player. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I look forward to finishing the season with my teammates and then moving on to the next level.”
According to Kiper’s Big Board, Ebron is “A QB’s best friend.”
Kiper describes Ebron as having “the size to overwhelm cornerbacks and most safeties, but shows off a good burst and above-average straight-line speed. He can go up and get the ball, and does a good job of catching it with his hands away from his body. Great body control allows him to haul in errant throws.”
Ebron is a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, which is presented to the nation’s top tight end. He had his best game of the season in a loss to Miami on Oct. 17. In that game, he had career-bests with eight catches and 199 yards, which set a single-game school record for receiving yards by a tight end.
Ebron holds the UNC single-season and career records for catches and receiving yards by a tight end. Entering Saturday’s regular-season finale against Duke, he has 100 career catches for 1,606 yards.