NC State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu is officially turning pro.

Ekwonu made that announcement on Saturday afternoon. This was an expected decision following a season that launched him into consideration as a first round draft pick.

Here’s his announcement:

“This season and team have meant everything to me, and although this chapter of my life is being closed, I’m beyond blessed to be able to start a new chapter and continue writing my story,” he wrote in-part. “With that being said, I would like to officially forgo my senior season and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.”

Ekwonu was one of the top offensive lineman in the country this season. He was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy this season. That award goes to the top interior offensive lineman in the country each season.

The Wolfpack will have a tough time replacing him this offseason. NC State is coming off a 9-3 campaign that ended in disappointment after a COVID-19 outbreak forced UCLA to withdraw from the Holiday Bowl.

Next up for Ekwonu is the NFL scouting combine later this spring.