From Atlanta to Durham to the Association—for one of Duke's freshman forwards, one season is all he will play at the collegiate level.

Wendell Carter Jr. announced on his 19th birthday Monday afternoon via an Instagram post that he will forgo his remaining three years of eligibility and declare for this June's 2018 NBA Draft. The Atlanta native is projected as a consensus lottery selection and joins classmates Marvin Bagley III, Gary Trent Jr. and Trevon Duval as the final of Duke's four freshmen who will leave the Blue Devils this offseason to join the professional ranks.



"I want to thank Duke University, my coaches and teammates for helping me so much, not only on the court, but off it as well,” Carter said in a team press release. "We’re all brothers, we all have each other's backs. I’m really going to miss being around my friends, but I’m really going to cherish the moments we had together. I’m very excited and very happy to say I was part of something special here at Duke.”

In his lone season at Duke, Carter led the team with 76 blocks as he manned the middle of the Blue Devils' 2-3 zone defense, and the 6-foot-10, 259-pounder averaged 13.5 points per game to go along with 9.1 rebounds. Prior to joining Duke, Carter was the No. 4 prospect in ESPN's Class of 2017 rankings and was named a McDonald's All-American.

"It was such an honor to coach Wendell,” Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He and his family were a true joy to have in our program and they’ll always be in our program. He had a sensational freshman year—a double-double guy—and he has so much more potential. He’s going to keep getting better, because he’s talented and he has the best attitude. He really represented himself, his family and Duke in a first-class manner, and whoever gets him is going to be very lucky.”

The highlight of his 2017-18 campaign came in Duke's 66-57 road victory against Clemson in mid-February. Although no Blue Devil poured in gaudy numbers that afternoon, Carter posted a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double effort, capped by his spinning and-one layup that salted away what would wind up a crucial win—especially with Bagley still sidelined by a knee injury.

Many project Carter to play power forward at the next level—some have compared him to Boston's Al Horford, who has averaged 14.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game during his 11-season NBA career.

Duke will now have to replace more than 86 percent of its scoring and its entire starting lineup next season, but has another elite recruiting class coming in with the ESPN 100's top three players and four of the top 12 in the Class of 2018.