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Andrus Peat declares for draft

Stanford left tackle Andrus Peat has announced his intentions to go pro.

"It's been a long and hard decision, but I have decided to forgo my senior season of eligibility and declare for the NFL draft," Peat said in a news release. "I would like to thank all of my Stanford teammates, coaches and the faculty for helping me grow and enjoy an amazing experience at Stanford University. I'm excited and ready to take the next big step of my life."

Peat, a 6-foot-7, 316-pound junior, was named to ESPN.com's All-America team in 2014. He's the son of former Cardinals and Raiders offensive lineman Todd Peat, and has been widely projected to be selected in the first round.

Peat's combination of sheer size, athleticism, and NFL pedigree -- he's been known to intensely watch film of professional linemen at work -- has made him a top prospect ever since high school. When he committed to Stanford over Nebraska in 2012, ESPN ranked him as the second-best offensive line prospect of the class, making him one of the most highly touted recruits in program history.

Peat saw immediate playing time at Stanford as a true freshman, a rarity in the Cardinal's system, especially for linemen. He took over the starting job at left tackle his sophomore year following David Yankey's graduation. Earlier this season, there was some speculation that Peat might remain in school for his senior season. Some scouts, including ESPN's Steve Muench, even recommended this course of action.

But Peat ultimately opted for the NFL, where he'll try to follow in his father's footsteps behind that gigantic made-for-professional-football frame. Stanford will be tasked with replacing the big man up front, but they've recruited well there recently: current right tackle Kyle Murphy might move over to the left side next season, while fellow former five-star recruit Casey Tucker is a favorite to start in his sophomore season with Peat gone.