Bodine, Hurst Attend NFL Combine
Bodine (Spurlock/USATS)
Bodine (Spurlock/USATS)
Special to IC
Posted Feb 23, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS – Russell Bodine models his game after Jeff Saturday, another former North Carolina center who was a six-time Pro Bowl player.

Saturday, who retired after the 2012 season, spent the majority of his 14-year career playing for the Colts. He will go down as one of best undrafted players in league history.

“The Colts had a one-back offense, running inside, outside zone a lot, like what we did (at North Carolina),” Bodine said. “Obviously, he had a very successful career and that’s something every offensive linemen would what to emulate.”

In late December, Bodine decided to bypass his senior season and enter the NFL draft. He averaged 73 snaps per game in 2013 and was an honorable-mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection.

Bodine, at 6-foot-3, 310 pounds, is projected as a late round pick in the NFL Draft. He was a two-year starter for the Tar Heels and can also play guard.

“There are a lot of good players in the draft, especially at center,” said Bodine, who had 42 reps at 225 pounds Friday, most among the offensive linemen at the combine. “I try not to worry about the comparisons right now, I just say I want to be the best.

“I will give it everything I have on the field and off the field and let the chips fall where they may.”

Bodine’s teammate, highly regarded left tackle James Hurst, won’t get a chance to work out for NFL scouts and general managers at Lucas Oil Stadium.

He continues to rehab from a broken left leg suffered in North Carolina’s bowl game against Cincinnati in late December.

Hurst, at 6-5, 296, started a school-record 49 games in his college career. He had been projected as high as a second-round pick prior to being injured, but the injury is expected to move back into later rounds.

"The rehab is good, coming along fast," Hurst said. "I started walking two weeks ago and it feels good walking around here, feeling normal about it.

“I still have a week before I'm up and running."

Hurst is hoping to participate in North Carolina’s Pro Day March 25.

“It's my full physical audition,” he said. “A lot of these guys are doing most of their stuff here. So knowing I'm going to be doing everything and when I'm going to be doing it, I feel good doing it at the university I played at and graduated from."

Hurst grew up in nearby Plainfield, Ind., so this week has been like a homecoming of sorts for him.

"It's probably made me a little more comfortable than most,” he said. “I know my way around. I know where I am, and I feel at home. A little more relaxed and not being too anxious."

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