Reports: Louis Nix III hires agents

The first tangible sign Louis Nix III would not return to Notre Dame was when he posted a picture Thursday on Instagram of the Golden Dome in his rearview mirror.

The second came Friday, when the Sports Business Journal and the Chicago Tribune reported that the redshirt junior nose guard signed with agents Todd France and Brian Ayrault.

Nix would be ineligible to return to Notre Dame once he hires an agent, a clear sign he's headed to the NFL draft.

The leap to the NFL is not surprising considering Nix, who has missed the Fighting Irish's past two games and is out for their bowl game after undergoing meniscus surgery, is currently No. 4 on Scouts Inc.'s list of draft-eligible players. He is No. 10 on Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board, as well.

The 6-foot-3, 347-pound Nix is expected to graduate from Notre Dame this month.

The Jacksonville, Fla., native has been an instrumental force in the middle of the Irish's defense this season, displaying a rare blend of quickness and size that makes him coveted at the next level.