Despite receiving a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA last spring, Minnesota defensive tackle O.J. Smith has decided to forgo his final season and will enter the NFL Draft.
Smith, who transferred to Minnesota from Alabama, made his announcement via Twitter on Tuesday. He played in six games for the Gophers in 2018.
“I’ve made the decision to enter the 2019 NFL Draft,” Smith wrote. “Thank you again to everyone that has played a part in my development as a player.”
— O.J Smith (@juicemane318) January 15, 2019
Smith played in the first five games of the season for the Gophers, but missed seven of the final eight contests due to a head injury. He totaled seven tackles for the year.
Smith appeared in just two career games in two seasons at Alabama. After transferring to Minnesota, he sat out the 2017 due to NCAA transfer regulations.
According to the Pioneer Press, Smith is the first Gopher football player to forgo his final season of eligibility for the NFL Draft since tight end Maxx Williams left in 2015.