The North Carolina Tar Heels football season kicks off on August 30th against the Liberty Flames at home in Kenan Stadium. To get you ready for the nationally ranked Tar Heel’s first game, Keeping It Heel will have an extensive football preview series previewing all of Carolina’s positions, games and reviewing 2013′s games. Check back to Keeping It Heel every afternoon for new preview posts. Today, let’s preview UNC Football’s tight ends.
Departures: Eric Ebron
Filling Ebron’s role won’t be easy but it has to be done. Ebron led the team with 62 receptions for 973 yards, so his loss will certainly be felt in this offense. While the Tar Heels really don’t have a Ebron type tight end right now,the plan is to eventually get one and fill the void.
Ebron was drafted in the first round by the Detroit Lions and will look to play a key role in the Lion’s offense. His hands however have been a concern even at his days with the Tar Heels.
Returning/Arrivals: Eric Albright, Jack Tabb, Garrett Hudson, Terrance Knox, Brandon Fritts
The Tar Heels will look to two seniors to help fill the void of Ebron, while also looking for their tight end of the future. The senior leadership of Albright and Tabb will be helpful to an offense who will look to be balanced and develop a vertical passing game.
— Omari Warren (@MrOmariWarren) December 28, 2013
Tabb will likely be the starter, but it wouldn’t shock me to see Fedora use both tight ends and give them both significant playing time. Tabb had a solid season last year behind Ebron considering Ebron was just a flat-out stud at the position. But this year its Tabb’s turn to show what he can do. It’s almost a good situation for the Tar Heels that they have two senior tight ends who can hopefully be relied on if needed. Tabb has the skill set to be used in the Tar Heels spread offense and can stretch the field.
Albright will look to increase his role on the Tar Heels offense as he spent most of last season on special teams. Albright is a player to keep an eye out to see what his role will be early in the season.
The Tar Heels have some depth at the position, which is a good thing. Class of 2013 three-star recruit Brandon Fritts could be the tight end of the future for the Tar Heels. The 6-foot-4 tight end used his height and speed to punish smaller defensive backs in high school. Fritts could be used to spread the field in Fedora’s offense.
Another option is three-star recruit Avery Edwards. The 6-foot-5 tight end is built for the red zone and uses his athleticism and skills to make plays. Edwards separated from defenders with his height and athleticism in high school and could see some time this year down in the red zone.