Inside the Game: Eric Ebron

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- After opening the season by snapping a 32-game losing streak, Smith High ended the regular season with another accomplishment. The Golden Eagles, featuring junior two-way star Eric Ebron, qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2004 with a 56-16 rout of Southern Alamance.

"We just had to find our identity and put ourselves in a situation where we felt like we could come out and execute," Rodney Brewington, Smith's head football coach, said. "We were really excited about the whole group effort tonight. And I was really excited about the way my big tight end [Eric Ebron] played tonight."


Ebron started both ways. He never missed a meaningful snap on offense, but sat out four defensive drives. He was also on the field goal and field goal block units, and the front line of the kick return team.

Offensively, Ebron is technically a tight end in Smith's Pro-I offense. However, he splits out almost as much as he lines up tight in a three-point stance.

Smith's offense relies more on the run, where Ebron performs both in-line and downfield blocks. On pass plays, though, he's the go-to receiver. He was targeted – and caught – the first three passes thrown his way.

"We want to always try to establish that ‘Hey, that's our go-to guy,'" Brewington said. "Once we establish him, it opens everything else for us."

Ebron lines up at end on defense, usually on the strong-side.

Big Plays

After he moved the offense to Southern Alamance's 25-yard line with an 18-yard reception, Ebron ignited the rout with his first of two touchdown catches.

"We called double-flex cross – both tight ends go across the middle," Ebron said.

Facing a defense in a cover-two zone, Ebron ran through the alley between the linebackers and safeties. He eventually found a dead zone past the opposite side outside linebacker and above that cornerback. As he entered that dead zone, he was met by a near perfect pass.

"The secondary stayed [back]," Ebron said. "I flew across the middle, I had caught the pass, and my mind was set on the end zone."


Offense: 4 catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns
Defense: 8 tackles (7 solo), 3 sacks, 2 QB hurries
Receiving Breakdown: 30, 18, 25t, incomplete, 19t, drop

(t=touchdown; f=fumble)


In a nutshell, Ebron is a big-bodied, raw athlete. He's very fluid but lacks technique in most of his game, which is mostly attributed to his lack of experience (this is his first year of high school football).

Ebron is a natural receiver, who effortlessly catches just about everything thrown his direction. While he's not a crisp route runner, he displayed an innate ability to get open in zone coverage.

After the catch, he's a threat to take it the distance. He will ward off potential tacklers, weave through traffic, and fight to stay on his feet.

Like everything else, Ebron's blocking is raw. He gets by with his strength and determination, but fails to sustain blocks for an extended period of time because of his lack of technique. Upon engaging with the defender, he continues to drive his feet.

Defensively, Ebron plays with a lot of tenacity and plays to the whistle. He doesn't always pursue with the best angles, but once he gets his hands on the ball carrier, he's making the tackle.

Ebron plays with a lot of passion and while on the sidelines will try to hype up the crowd.


In causal conversation with Ebron prior to his post game interview, he expressed an eagerness to attend the North Carolina-Miami game this Saturday.

"I don't want to be up top with the recruits, I want to be front row on the sidelines for every play," he said.

Other Standouts

The other half of Smith's passing attack is Jeffery Sims, a 2011 quarterback. Including Ebron's two touchdown receptions, Sims tossed five touchdown passes against Southern Alamance. He ended the night with 267 yards on 11-of-16 passing. The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder didn't permanently become Smith's starting quarterback until three games ago.

Yet another impressive 2011 prospect from Smith was cornerback Demari Boswell. Against Southern Alamance, the 5-foot-9, 160-pounder registered eight tackles (seven solo) and provide solid pass coverage. He also returns kicks for Smith.

Check back tomorrow for video highlights of Ebron's performance.

Eric Ebron Profile

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