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Vols OL Antonio Richardson elects to enter NFL draft

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Wade Payne / Associated Press
Tennessee's Antonio Richardson is among the top offensive tackles in the SEC.

Tennessee offensive lineman Antonio Richardson has elected to declare eligibility for the 2014 NFL Draft, according to a Vols release at  govolsextra.com.

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"I have truly loved every moment of being a Tennessee Volunteer and will always be a Vol For Life," Richardson said in a prepared statement. "As much as I have enjoyed my time at Tennessee, I have long dreamed of playing in the NFL and taking care of my family. After careful consideration, I have decided to forgo my senior year and enter the 2014 NFL Draft."

Richardson, a junior left tackle, is one of two Volunteers prospects with a tough decision to make regarding early entry, along with linebacker A.J. Johnson. Richardson is regarded among the SEC's elite offensive tackles, along with Texas A&M's Jake Matthews and Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio.

Richardson (6-foot-6, 327 pounds) started for two full seasons at Tennessee.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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