GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Notre Dame standout linebacker Jaylon Smith was helped from the field with a left knee injury early in Friday's BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl.
Smith, a junior and potential high NFL draft pick, landed awkwardly after being pushed by an Ohio State player and had to be helped off the field, putting no weight on his leg.
A short time later, he was taken to the locker room on a cart. Smith was on crutches on the sideline as Ohio State wrapped up its 44-28 win. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly called it "a significant knee injury."
"The guy is so impactful on our defense," Kelly said. "You lose a guy like that early on, it significantly affects what you're doing defensively."
Smith is Notre Dame's leading tackler and the winner of the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker.
Should Smith's injury result in him slipping in the 2016 NFL draft, he could be compensated. Sources told ESPN's Darren Rovell that Smith financed a $50,000 premium to set up a $5 million loss of value policy that would result in at least some payment if he fell out of the first round. Chris Larcheveque of International Specialty Insurance did confirm to ESPN that Smith's policy was written by his company.