Season Wrap-up: Russell Bodine

Turnovers were never a problem during Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy's regular season, which ended with a respectable 7-3 record. But the turnover bug bit hard in the playoffs causing North Carolina verbal commitment Russell Bodine's senior season to end much sooner than expected.

"We were really a little disappointed that we didn't make it as far as we could have or should have," Bodine said. "But at the same time, 7-4 isn't bad. But it's just not what we hoped for."

Bodine, a 6-foot-4, 278-pounder, started at both offensive guard and defensive tackle this fall. Defensively, the ended the season with 42 tackles and three sacks.

In the first round of the VISAA Playoffs, FUMA was matched up with Richmond (Va.) Collegiate, which had defeated FUMA in a 38-34 nail-bitter during the regular season. In the rematch, seven turnovers allowed Collegiate to easily defeat FUMA, 35-13.

"You can't turn the ball over seven times and expect to win a playoff game," Bodine said.

This season was Bodine's first at offensive guard. He had started both his sophomore and junior seasons at center, but was moved for his pulling ability since FUMA regularly pulls its guards.

"It really wasn't a big change," Bodine said. "… Pulling is always fun – you get to go knock somebody around."

Throughout the season, Bodine practiced under the tutelage of a former All-ACC offensive lineman.

"We worked a lot with Ryan Shuman – he used to play at [Virginia] Tech," Bodine said. "I worked a lot with him on blocking in space."

Bodine will move back to center when he gets to UNC this summer.

Bodine says he talks to Sam Pittman, UNC's offensive line coach, at least once a week.

"[We discuss] just ‘How's it going' – just causal stuff," Bodine said. "There was some discussion earlier about me trying to [enroll at UNC] in January, but Fork Union's policy doesn't let anyone do that, so that fell through."

With FUMA playing several games on Saturdays, Bodine found it difficult to visit UNC during the season. However, he was able to attend his first UNC game in early October, when the Tar Heels hosted Georgia Southern.

"Everything was really nice," Bodine said. "They had a lot of people there. It wasn't a huge game by any standards, but it got me a little psyched up to play there."

During his visit, Bodine spent some time with Ed Reynolds and Aramide Olaniyan; both play for conference rival Woodberry Forest (Va.).

"We had played them two days before [I saw them]," Bodine said. "It wasn't bad at all. Obviously, [there was] a little bit of ‘We beat you' competition stuff. But other than that, it wasn't bad. They're both good guys. We were just hanging out and talking. They asked me how I made my decision, but I wasn't trying to push [them to] commit to UNC because they need to decide what's best for them."

Bodine plans to return to UNC in January for his official visit.

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