CHAPEL HILL — Eric Ebron is setting the bar for what a tight end can be at North Carolina. Whether it’s a one-handed catch against Georgia Tech or drawing comparisons to players at the next level, Ebron has been a star for the Tar Heels.
The junior has fought alongside his teammates through a rough 1-4 start this season, but has hope that the team can turn things around and is proud of his own personal achievements thus far.
Q: How frustrating has this season been thus far?
A: Depends on what you’re asking about: my half of the season or overall? (He laughs.) I’ve had some success, but it’s been really up and down. I guess you could say that about the whole team because we’ve been trying to find our identity since training camp. But that whole identity has been shattered. I’m not going to make any excuses for our record or the way we’ve been playing, but I know we have the ability to turn it around.
Q: What’s it like to go through this kind of adversity?
A: As juniors and seniors, we really understand how crucial it is to get things turned around and stress that importance to our younger players. It’s not easy, and neither were the previous times we had to fight through disappointment, but it’s important. We’re not like some schools that have 11 freakish athletes that can out-compete every team, so we have to work to work from the quarterback to the last guy on the bench.
Q: How important is this game against Miami on Thursday night?
A: Honestly it’s all just about execution. We know what this win would mean for our season, but we have to stay focused on the game and not the situation. We are all taking a “backs against the wall” approach, but it still comes down to executing on the field. I love when it comes down to that because I feast on atmospheres like that.
Q: Looking at the Miami corners and, in your case, linebackers and safeties, how difficult will it be for you to get open?
A: Every team just double teams me. At this point, I’ve come to expect it. But one thing teams have got to understand is that it doesn’t matter who you line up against me, I’m going to produce for my team. If you’re in my way, I’m sorry but you’re not going to stop me. I know that may sound like a cocky statement, but it’s not, it’s a confident one.
It doesn’t matter whether Miami sends their best corner, their best linebacker or their best safety. I believe my team trusts me to come through and I’ll find a way to come through for them.
Smith: 919-829-8941; Twitter: @RCorySmith