UNC linebacker Andre Smith declaring for NFL draft

The junior had double-digit tackles in the two games he played before suffering a season-ending injury against Louisville on Sept. 9

UNC linebacker Andre Smith (10) makes a tackle in the Tar Heels' season opener against Cal. Smith missed all but two games with a knee injury (Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Junior linebacker Andre Smith, who had double-digit tackles in the two games he played before suffering a season-ending injury against Louisville on Sept. 9, had announced he will forego his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.

The 6-foot, 240-pound Jacksonville native ranked second on the team in tackles as a sophomore in 2016 with 113. He had 21 tackles in his two games this season, along with a 73-yard interception return in the season opener against California.

“Andre is an outstanding young man and we wish him the best as he pursues his dream of playing in the NFL,” Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora said. “He was a leader for our program who we will miss both on and off the field, but our staff was fortunate to have the opportunity to coach him for three seasons.”

Smith suffered a knee injury late in UNC’s loss to the Cardinals. He was among the first of 21 players to be designated as “out for the season” during the Tar Heels’ disastrous 3-9 season.