Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith declares for NFL draft

1:02 | College Football
Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith declares for NFL Draft
Monday January 11th, 2016

Notre Dame junior linebacker Jaylon Smith announced that he will forego his senior year and enter the 2016 NFL draft.

Smith was named the 2015 Butkus Award winner as the nation's top linebacker. He tore his ACL and MCL the 2016 Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State on Jan. 1 before undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last week.

Smith announced his decision in a Youtube video, which can be seen below:

Smith finished last season with 115 tackles for the Fighting Irish, which includes nine tackles for loss. As a sophomore, he recorded 112 tackles.

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Smith joins wide receiver Will Fuller, running back C.J. Prosise, cornerback KeiVarae Russell and left tackle Ronnie Stanley as Notre Dame underclassmen that have declared for the NFL.

Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly did several interviews with ESPN on Monday and commented on Smith's decision.

“I think he's a generational player at his position, and he'll recover fine from this,” Kelly said. “The NFL will be lucky to get a young man like this.”

- Christopher Chavez

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