CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron is listed as 245 pounds in the team media guide, but that figure was recorded in the midst of his effort to gain weight and so its already outdated. Ebron, who stands 6-foot-4, said Wednesday that hes up to 254 pounds now.
But, he added, he hasnt lost any speed.
Same speed. Same speed, Ebron said. It looks illegal. It looks like it shouldnt be on the field, but it is.
Ebron has received a good deal of preseason attention. He was named to the preseason All-ACC team. He is viewed as an All-American candidate. And Larry Fedora, the UNC coach, has said more than once that he expects Ebron to catch at least 12 touchdown passes this season.
In the midst of it all, Ebron has tried to remain humble. To do so, he deleted his social media accounts.
Twitter, Instagram, Ebron said. I (still) have Facebook but no one goes on that thats like old-school.
Ebron said it was a maturity step to get off of social media.
It prevents you from being big-headed, he said.
Doeren tweaks LB spots
RALEIGH Middle linebackers Zach Gentry and Robert Caldwell have had such a strong training camp, N.C. State coach Dave Doeren moved sophomore M.J. Salahuddin to the outside.
The Wolfpack has to replace two of its three regular starting linebackers from last season. Rodman Noel (five starts) and Brandon Pittman (two) are the only linebackers with starting experience from the 2012 season.
Senior D.J. Green is set on the strong side with Gentry or Caldwell in the middle. Salahuddin, who was one of the better defensive players in spring practice, has moved to the weak side with Pittman as his backup.
With games against up-tempo, spread offenses (Louisiana Tech and Clemson) in two of the first three weeks of the season, Doeren said it was important to have numbers at linebacker.
We wanted to have a two deep where we felt we could rotate and play a lot of people, Doeren said.
Duke enjoys virtual playbook
DURHAM Last season, Duke made the transition from the traditional playbooks to iPads with digital copies. Not only are the technologically advanced playbooks easier to transport, but they are also more interactive, with archived film clips available with a few taps on the touch screen. Gone are the days when players had to come back to the teams offices to watch film.
Its much more useful, senior running back Juwan Thompson said. You can take it with you and walk around, have your music with you, everything is right there for you. You can communicate with your coaches if you have specific questions. You can ask them about certain plays, just send it to them and (they) send it back. Theres so many things you can do on there that you no longer have to wait until the next morning to talk to your coach about. You can just get it done then.
If I needed to call (quarterback Anthony) Boone and ask him about a specific thing, he can pull it up also. Its very convenient. That big book was a hassle at some points. We really didnt like it.
When asked what advice he would give freshman, Boone said to spend as much time with the playbook as possible. Thats never been easier than now with the iPads. Coach David Cutcliffe said he expects anywhere from 5-10 freshmen to play this year, so it appears Duke made the investment in player-friendly playbooks at the right time.
Cornerback Breon Borders and receivers Johnell Barnes and Ryan Smith appear to be all-but-guaranteed to play as true freshmen, based on their performances thus far.