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North Carolina C Bodine to enter NFL draft

North Carolina junior center Russell Bodine has decided to forego his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL draft, the school announced Monday.

"It’s been a dream of mine to play in the NFL and I feel I’m ready to take the next step in my playing career,” Bodine said in a statement. "I have been thinking about this for several weeks, weighing all my options and discussing it with my parents and the coaching staff. I feel it is the right time to move forward.

"I want to thank the coaching staff at North Carolina for helping me become a better player and person. I’ve had the opportunity to play in both a pro-style offense and a spread offense and I think that will enhance my opportunities at the next level."

Bodine averaged 73 snaps per game in 2013 and was an honorable-mention All-ACC selection. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper lists Bodine as the No. 2 non-senior prospect at center.

"We wish Russell the best as he takes the next step in athletic career," coach Larry Fedora said in a statement. "He has been a good player for us over the last two years, starting every game on the offensive line, and has a bright future ahead of him."

Bodine is the second North Carolina player to declare early for the 2014 draft, joining tight end Eric Ebron.