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Tar Heels lose starting lineman to the NFL

Russell Bodine Getty Images

The early exodus for the NFL continues, with North Carolina the latest to lose another starter to the big-boy league.

In a press release, the Tar Heels confirmed Monday that offensive lineman Russell Bodine has decided to forego his final season of eligibility and make himself available for the May draft.  Bodine has played mainly at center while also seeing time at guard for the Tar Heels.

“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,” said Bodine 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 started 25 games during his UNC career, including 23 the past two seasons.  Honor-wise, the high point of Bodine’s time in Chapel Hill was honorable mention All-ACC in 2013.

“We wish Russell the best as he takes the next step in athletic career,” said head coach Larry Fedora. “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.”

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