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Report: Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith to undergo reconstructive knee surgery

It was an awful season for major injuries and an awful bowl season, and those two dark forces collided on Jaylon Smith‘s knee. The Fighting Irish linebacker was carted away from Notre Dame’s Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State, and it appears our worst fears have been realized.

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Smith’s injury will require reconstructive surgery, which Smith will undergo later this week.

Smith, who still has a couple weeks to declare, was reportedly leaning toward entering this spring’s draft.

From Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column:

One NFL scout who was at the Fiesta Bowl said Saturday he thought Smith was a top-three pick. Another who I spoke with Saturday said of the players he saw this fall, if Smith came out, he’d have been a strong candidate to be the top overall pick. “There is not a defense he would not fit in,” the second scout said. “This is a huge story.”

Smith’s injury could reportedly cost him up to $15 million should he enter this year’s draft, but will that be enough for him to risk another season at Notre Dame?

That’s for Smith to decide.