North Carolina's Eric Ebron is a Rising Star

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Who is the most important player in the Spread Offense?

The quarterback… running back… offensive line…

There is no doubt they are all key factors that must work in quick unison for the uptempo nature of the spread to wreak havoc the way that is should.

But of all of those positions there is one that has a little more swagger. And a position that the North Carolina Tar Heels will rely heavily on in the 2013 season.

So if you’re looking for a sleeper pick for a player to watch on the 2013 Tar Heel team, look no further than Junior TE Eric Ebron.

The Tight End position in the spread is a vital cog in efficiency of the system. The different formations provide the opportunity for a quick, strong and athletic TE to confuse the living daylights out of opposing defenses. Especially if the spread is in hurry up and running a no huddle. Is the TE blocking? Is he the receiver? Is he the decoy? Is he the hot route?

Ebron fits perfectly into Carolina’s plans for a much more robust version of the spread in 2013. The 6-4, 235 pound talent is a beast when blocking and has the ability to find the gaps in the zone reads.

Although the Pistol and other variations that the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins ran with near flawless results will be a little bit of a different animal as Bryn Renner doesn’t quite have the legs of say Colin Kaepernick, you can see how important of a role Ebron will play this season with Fedora Ball.

It’s funny because with a solid TE like Ebron in the Spread, a team is never out of a game or never too far behind to catch up.

Through two seasons, Ebron has 50 catches for 832 yards and five touchdowns. Don’t be surprised Carolina fans if you see him post 60 receptions for 1000+ yards in 2013.

For one he is that good…

And most importantly, Ebron will be the wheels that keeps the train moving…


M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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