Lions’ Eric Ebron adjusting to NFL

ALLEN PARK — When Eric Ebron arrived at his locker after a month away from the Detroit Lions’ practice facility, the rookie tight end was greeted by a mountain of swag.

“I had about a smooth 35 pair of shoes,” Ebron said. “I had a couple systems for my house by Sonos. Those are some of the people I deal with. Their speakers are incredible. I had some customized cleats for the season come through for Nike. Just shoes took up most of my locker. Now they’re in the back of the car.”

Ah, the life of a first-round NFL draft pick.

Ebron reported with the rest of the Lions rookies and first-year players for physicals, meetings and a conditioning test Tuesday, and the 10th overall pick out of North Carolina said he’s just getting used to life as a professional football player.

He spent part of his time off vacationing with his fiancée in Florida and working as a counselor at a Nike camp for top high school prospects in Oregon.

He signed for a new Cadillac Escalade, the one loaded with shoes, on Tuesday. And he said he has done one thing more than ever since signing his four-year, $12.2-million contract last month.

“It has its ups and downs, but to be able to take care of your family, like get your mom a new car, your brother a new car, the people that took care of you, pay the rest of your dad’s car off and support my niece and nephews growing up (so) they don’t have to live a life like I lived,” he said. “It’s great, but it also has its ups and downs because the people that you’re supporting see that, then other family members want to, you know.

“It has its ups and downs so you just got to balance it out. You just got to be true to yourself and just stay humble. I’ve never thanked God so much in my life until I’ve been drafted. It’s incredible.”

Ebron said he has done his best to manage all the people looking for handouts — “You just say (heck) no,” he said — and he’s about to get more help when his schedule fills up as training camp kicks into full swing next week.

Lions veterans report this weekend and their first practice of camp is Monday.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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