clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

All-time UNC Football Top 25 Countdown: No. 25 Eric Ebron

THB’s list of the all-time UNC greats kicks off with one of the top tight ends in program history

Belk Bowl - Cincinnati v North Carolina
December 28, 2013 Belk Bowl vs. Cincinnati
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

This summer, Tar Heel Blog will profile the top 25 players in the history of the North Carolina football program. The rankings were determined by votes from readers and staff.

The list is set and the order was chosen by you, our faithful readers at Tar Heel Blog. Let’s countdown the months, weeks, and days until football season by profiling the top 25 players in the history of North Carolina football. The countdown starts with No. 25 Eric Ebron.

The argument can be made that Eric Ebron is not only the top tight end in North Carolina Tar Heels history, but also in the history of the ACC. If not the the best, he is certainly among the top performing in school and league history.

Career at UNC

Eric Ebron Career Statistics

Year Receptions Yards Average TD
Year Receptions Yards Average TD
2011 10 207 20.7 1
2012 40 625 15.6 4
2013 62 973 15.7 3
Totals 112 1,805 16.1 8

Career highlights, via the ACC Digital Network:

Ebron holds the ACC record for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season. His 973 yards in the 2013 campaign broke the previous record of 871 yards by Vernon Davis at the University of Maryland in 2005. His 62 receptions that year were tops for the UNC program and second most in league history by a tight end.

Among all receivers at Carolina, he has the fifth best single season in receiving yards. Ebron’s 973 receiving yards in 2013 were top for the team that year, and most in a single season in the Larry Fedora era until Ryan Switzer in 2016. His 62 receptions were ninth best in a single season in program history.

Ebron’s 1,805 career receiving yards, 112 receptions, and eight touchdowns are the most by a career tight end at Carolina (Erik Highsmith and Ken Taylor were listed as wide receiver and tight end during their careers).

Honors and Awards

Ebron was a First-team All-American selection 2013. That year he was named to the All-ACC First Team and was a Mackey Award Finalist for the nation’s top collegiate tight end. In 2012, he was named to the All-ACC Second Team.

Top Games at UNC

On Zero Dark Thursday, October 17, 2013, Ebron recorded the seventh best single game receiving total in program history. He had 199 receiving yards versus Miami in the Thursday evening matchup in Chapel Hill that debuted the program’s first all-black uniforms. His receiving total in that game remains the most yards caught against the Hurricanes in Carolina program history. In this game, he probably solidified his future first round selection, highlighted by a one-handed grab that broke the program record for receiving yards in a game by a tight end. Here is the play, via the ACC Digital Network:

Later that season, Ebron caught a 79 yard pass from Marquise Williams against Duke in the regular season finale. This was the longest of his career and the longest pass in school history that did not result in a touchdown. His 121 yards receiving was the third 100+ yard day for Ebron in 2013. Check out the 79 yard catch, via UNC Athletics:

After UNC

Ebron was chosen 10th overall in the NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. At the time, he was the 23rd Carolina player chosen in the first round.

In three seasons with the Detroit Lions, he has accumulated 133 receptions for 1,496 yards, averaging 11.2 yards per reception. Ebron has seven career receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown on his only NFL rushing attempt.

Just by checking out his website and Twitter feed, you can tell that Ebron remains a strong supporter of the Carolina program and his North Carolina roots. A grad of Smith High School in Greensboro, he is returning in July to host a football camp at his high school.

THB wishes Eric Ebron a successful and healthy season this year. What are your favorite Eric Ebron moments from his time in Chapel Hill?