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California TE Richard Rodgers to enter 2014 NFL Draft


California tight end Richard Rodgers will forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft, the Bay Area News Group reported.

Rodgers played wide receiver in new head coach Sonny Dykes' Bear Raid spread offense and finished third on the team with 39 receptions for 608 yards this season, scoring one touchdown.

While the top tier of tight ends is likely to consist of underclassmen Eric Ebron of North Carolina, who has already announced his plans to turn pro, Austin Seferian-Jenkins of Washington and Jace Amaro of Texas Tech, Rodgers (6-foot-4, 245 pounds) could end up at the top of the next group. Rodgers has the athleticism and pass-catching skills desired of modern NFL tight ends, capable of creating mismatches all over the field.

Rodgers becomes the second player from the 1-11 Golden Bears to enter the draft early, joining cornerback Kameron Jackson. Linebacker Khairi Fortt, safety Michael Lowe and running back Brendan Bigelow have also requested evaluations from the draft advisory board.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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