2013 Top 25 player countdown: No. 9

No. 9: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Previous ranking: No. 24

Making the case for Ebron: A first-team All-ACC selection and Mackey Award finalist, Ebron was one of the nation’s best tight ends and most consistent receiving threats in the conference. A matchup nightmare for every defense North Carolina faced, Ebron established himself as the Tar Heels’ go-to receiver for two different quarterbacks.

For the year, Ebron led the Tar Heels in catches (62) and receiving yards (973). Of his 62 catches, 42 went for first downs and 23 went for at least 15 yards. Ebron has seven receptions on third-and-7 or more or fourth down, and all seven resulted in a conversion. Only Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro finished the season with more receiving yards among tight ends than Ebron.

This year was an exceptional capper to Ebron’s UNC career, but his numbers over three seasons stand out, too. Ebron leaves the Tar Heels as the ACC’s all-time leader among tight ends in receiving yards, holds the UNC record for longest reception in Kenan Stadium history and holds the school record for single-game receiving yards by a tight end (199 vs. Miami this season).

The countdown