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South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst to go pro

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The Gamecocks standout will enter his name into the NFL Draft.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Confirming what was an expected decision, South Carolina Gamecocks tight end Hayden Hurst officially announced Thursday that he will forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.

Hurst, a junior who is already 24 because of a stint in professional baseball, had 97 catches for 1,240 yards in his career, making him just the third South Carolina tight end to eclipse 1,000 yards. He also set single-season records for a tight end with receptions (48) and yardage (616).

The Gamecocks will miss his playmaking ability next season, but he’s certainly NFL-ready and could end up being one of the first tight ends taken off the board next April. At least the Outback Bowl will let us see him in a South Carolina uniform one last time.

Here’s one of my favorite “Garnet Thor” memories:

Best of luck to Hurst, and I think he’ll make an NFL team pretty happy.