CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina junior linebacker Andre Smith is entering the NFL draft.

The school announced Smith's decision on Sunday. The Jacksonville, Florida, native made 14 starts at middle linebacker before suffering a season-ending injury in September against Louisville.

Smith ranked seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference at 8.7 tackles per game in 2016. He had 21 tackles in two games this season and also had a 73-yard interception return against California in the opener.

In a statement, coach Larry Fedora said the team will miss Smith's leadership. Smith tweeted a statement saying going to UNC was "the best decision I've made in my life."

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