Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith has announced he will be forgoing his senior year at school and will enter the NFL Draft.
Smith, who suffered a significant knee injury in Notre Dame’s bowl game January 1 against Ohio State, made his announcement in a YouTube video.
[iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/HN8GZlnDe1w” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]
Smith was a consensus All-American for the Fighting Irish and was named the Butkus Award winner in 2015, given to the best linebacker in the country. He became only the second player in the awards history, joining former Notre Dame teammate Manti Te’o as the only players to win the award both in high school and college.
Despite the numerous awards and accolades given to Smith, his future was put into question during Notre Dame’s loss in the Fiesta Bowl. Smith had his season ended by a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee.
Expected to be a first-round pick, Smith was insured for a $5 million loss if an injury caused him to slip in the draft.
Sources say Jaylon Smith financed the $50,000 insurance premium to pay for a $5M loss of value policy if he slipped the 2016 Draft— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 2, 2016
An injury of that magnitude will likely force Smith to miss most, if not all of the coming season. However, last season running back Todd Gurley suffered a similar injury but was still selected No. 10 overall in the first round of the draft by the St. Louis Rams. Gurley missed the first two weeks of the season while recovering.