The team confirmed that it has started the process of applying for a sixth year for Smith, who tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee Sept. 11 in Purdue's win against Western Illinois. Smith underwent knee surgery last month.
Smith was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2009 and led the Big Ten in both receiving yards (1,100) and receptions (91) last fall. He caught a total of 18 passes in Purdue's first two games before his injury.
Purdue players Torri Williams and Jason Werner had applied for and received sixth years of eligibility from the NCAA the past two years. The NCAA likely will rule on Smith's application in February.
Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org