Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith will reportedly undergo reconstructive surgery on Thursday to repair his injured left knee.
According to ESPN, Smith, a junior who is considered a top NFL draft prospect, suffered a torn ACL and MCL last week against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. On top of that, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, there is fear that Smith could have nerve damage in the knee.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly described the injury as “significant.”
Smith has not yet announced whether he plans to declare for the 2016 NFL draft or return to Notre Dame. The injury will undoubtedly impact his draft position if he decides to forgo his final season of eligibility, but ESPN is reporting that Smith “is still expecting to apply for draft eligibility.”
Smith, like all other prospects, has until Jan. 18 to decide.
Smith won the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker, finishing with 115 tackles and nine tackles for loss on the season. He also had 11 tackles in 2014 and 58 tackles in 2013 as a freshman.
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