Ebron, a 6-foot-5, 235-pounder from Ben L. Smith High (Greensboro, N.C.), explained why his emotions were so high moments after he left the Rutgers campus.
"For one, it was with my dad,'' Ebron said. "My dad never witnessed it before …so that made me happy. Then, Rutgers' facilities, and the college and everything, it was a crazy.
"It's an incredible feeling. This is probably the best offer.''
But the circumstance of Ebron's father, Eric Sr., being at his side when coach Greg Schiano said the Scarlet Knights were offering a scholarship, and expectations being exceeded during the visit created the excitement.
"We sat and talked for about 15 minutes,'' Ebron said. "After I was done explaining, how I am, what type of person I am, he asked me one question – how do you feel about football? I told him how I felt about football, and he said, ‘Ok, I've got something for you.' And he handed me the scholarship.''
Ebron made 24 catches for 408 yards and four touchdowns as a junior.
Although this was his first trip to Rutgers, he is familiar with the area. Ebron was born and lived in Newark before moving to Rhode Island and then North Carolina. His father still lives in Irvington.
His initial trip to Rutgers certainly wasn't a disappointment.
"They've got everything you could possibly need. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh.' ‘' the affable Ebron said. "We went to the training rooms, the weight rooms, and just toured around. We got the 25-cent tour. They said next time we'll make it a dollar.''
But even with the facilities, the locker rooms, the academic presentation and so on, something else left the most indelible mark on Ebron.
"What stood out to me wasn't even the facilities. It was the players,'' he said. "We asked one question – What made you come to Rutgers University. They all said it's a family. They take care of you. Not the coaches, not the teachers, (but) your peers, the other football players. That was the most exciting part for me.''
Ebron plans to return to the campus in the offseason to participate in one of Rutgers' camps, but his recruitment isn't going to be quick.
"It's probably going to be a while. Probably at the end of my senior year,'' Ebron said. "I'm basically trying to get a good education. If they're going to use me, I'm going to use them. Just trying to get a good education and a family school, where everyone looks out for one another and there's not a lot of hatred.''