First off, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, even if it could feel more like an early Christmas, as UNC basketball knocked off #3 Louisville last Sunday, while North Carolina football defeated Old Dominion 80 to 20 to get to a 6 and 5 record and become bowl eligible. Now, with one game left, the Tar Heels are readying themselves for a show down against the program just eight miles down the road, the Blue Devils.
The game, which will kickoff at noon (and what game for Carolina has not been either at noon or 12:30 p.m. EST), is Senior Day for the Tar Heels. In all there will be fourteen seniors as well as a pair of fourth year junior, who will not be playing with the team next season…
- Bryn Renner
- A.J. Blue
- David Collins
- Tre Boston
- Jabari Price
- Kareem Martin
- Mack Lloyd
- Tim Jackson
- Terry Shankle
- James Hurst
- Sean Tapley (fourth-year junior)
- Nick Appel (fourth-year junior)
- Darien McNeill (walk-on)
- Alec Petrocelli (walk-on)
- Josh Broach (walk-on)
- Cody Johnson (walk-on)
However there will be one more name added to the list, junior tight end Eric Ebron, who has announced that he will forego his senior year and head to the National Football League.
“I’ve had a great time in Chapel Hill and I appreciate everything Coach Fedora and the coaching staff has done for me,” said Ebron. “Coming to Carolina allowed me to develop as both a person and a football player. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I look forward to finishing the season with my teammates and then moving on to the next level.”
While the man at the helm of the program had this to say about his tight end…
“I’m proud of what Eric has accomplished and how he as represented the University of North Carolina,” said head coach Larry Fedora. “We are excited for him and his future. This is a good decision by him and his family and I fully support him. We are sad to see him go but are also excited for his future.”
The analysts at the world leader in sports have Ebron as the top tight end in the nation, with Mel Kiper Jr. putting him as the twelfth overall player while Todd McShay places him just below that, at the 14th slot. If all goes well the junior, who has broken many records while at UNC, should easily be a first rounder, the only true question should be how high in the round. I had written about his future at the next level in this post a few months ago. And while the draft is coming, for the young man there is still plenty of college football to live out. First of all the game this Saturday, for the Victory Bell, a bowl game, plus a shot at the John Mackey Award, given to the top tight end in the nation.
“I think part of [announcing this now] is he knows this is going to be his last home game and he would like to go through the process that the seniors do where we acknowledge the seniors for their last home game. I’d love for him and his family to be a part of that. So we really wanted to make that announcement today so we could get it over with and out of the way.”
I believe this is a great thing for both the team, the player and the fans, which I hope will pack Kenan Stadium for this game, so that all may celebrate Eric Ebron’s send off after having been part of the program for three years. As the game draws nearer make sure to come back to check out my preview. And of course, once more, before I finish this post… Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!