Chapel Hill, N.C. - University of North Carolina junior offensive lineman Russell Bodine has decided to forego his final season of eligibility and will enter the 2014 NFL Draft. A native of Scottsville, Va., Bodine was a two-year starter, primarily at center. He also saw action at left guard in 2013.
“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. “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.
“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.”
This is a bit of a surprise since there was nothing about Bodine's play this season that screamed high NFL Draft pick. On the season UNC's offensive line gave up 21 sacks while the running game struggled and holding calls were far too frequent. Whatever the case, Bodine clearly feels he is ready and hopefully it works out for him.
Bodine's departure does put some strain on the offensive line depth for 2014 with James Hurst also leaving via graduation. The incoming recruiting class has three linemen with #12 OT Bentley Spain(who is enrolling early), #29 OG Josh Allen and the #38 OT Caleb Samuel. UNC currently has 21 commits and with the NCAA mandated scholarship restrictions in place, doesn't leave much room(or time for that matter) to pick up anyone else.