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North Dakota State QB Trey Lance to enter 2021 NFL Draft

Oct. 6 (UPI) -- North Dakota State star quarterback Trey Lance, who is expected to be taken in the first round of next year's NFL Draft, will skip his final two-plus seasons at the school and enter the draft process.

The Bison will play a spring season in 2021, but Lance will forego that and instead prepare for the draft. He ran for two touchdowns and threw for two additional scores in North Dakota State's 39-28 win over Central Arkansas on Saturday -- the school's only scheduled game this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Lance announced his decision to enter the upcoming draft on social media Tuesday.

"After an amazing experience here at North Dakota State University, it is time for me to begin my next chapter," Lance wrote on Twitter. "I am excited to announce that I will be taking the next step in chasing my dreams and will be declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft."

In his first season as the Bison's starting quarterback in 2019, Lance didn't throw an interception in 287 passing attempts, setting the NCAA all-division record for attempts in a season without a pick. He completed 66.9% of his passes for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns and added 169 rushes for 1,100 yards and 14 scores.

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Lance was named the most outstanding player in North Dakota State's 28-20 victory over James Madison in January's FCS national title game. The championship win helped the Bison achieve the first 16-0 season in college football since 1894.

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Lance, a draft-eligible sophomore, went 17-0 in parts of three seasons with the Bison. In 2019, he won the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player at the FCS level and the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman, becoming the first player to win both honors.

Lance is projected as the third-best quarterback available in the 2021 draft, according to outlets. He is ranked behind only Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields.

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