CHAPEL HILL– Following the loss of running back Giovani Bernard after last season, the Tar Heels didn’t have to wait long for their next breakout offensive weapon to emerge.
That bright spot in a season of woes for Carolina is no doubt passionate tight end Eric Ebron. Already tabbed as the X-factor in the UNC offense, this season, Ebron has cemented himself as one of the best tight ends in the nation.
And in front of myriad NFL scouts in the Thursday night Miami game, Ebron took it to a whole new level, posting a record 199 yards receiving to go along with a touchdown catch.
“It’s an ACC battle, and I knew I had to do something different for my teammates in order to help us have a chance to win,” Ebron says.
Ebron says he just continually found himself open in the first half of Zero Dark Thursday, but things changed a little bit in the second half.
“The first half I don’t know what happened. I was just open. And the second half I was double-teamed, triple-teamed, pressed, and everything else after that. They switched it up. It didn’t really affect me as much, but it sort of took me out of the game,” Ebron says.
Going into the rest of the season, Ebron says the Miami game showed how good the Tar Heels can be when they completely invest themselves in the game. He says now his teammates must build on the momentum and put together four complete quarters of spirited play the rest of the way.
“We really found what we can be. We’ve really developed some good out of the game. Even though we took a loss, we understand how great we really are as a football team both defensively, offensively and special teams. Now we just have to put it all together from here on out,” Ebron says.
Ebron emphasizes that the Tar Heels can still salvage the season and he promises Carolina will continue to display the utmost tenacity and determination.
“We can still salvage our season. There’s no need to bow down and give everyone else what they want. That’s not how he [Coach Fedora] wants to do it or how we want to do it. We’re going to fight for ourselves more than anything else,” Ebron says.
The record-breaking tight end who has already amassed 532 receiving yards this season, provides a little philosophical insight into the strength of his character and the depth of his resolve. Admirably, Ebron says he will battle on like the competitor he is.
“I’m not a quitter. I never gave up on anything in my life. So I feel like going out there and putting on a performance that we did against Miami every single week, whether we win or lose, we can’t be doubted for our hard work and how bad we really wanted to win,” Ebron says.
Let’s hope all the Tar Heels take after Mr. Ebron the remainder of the season. The first test of that resolve will come Saturday against 3-3 Boston College.