SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly confirmed Sunday what was logically concluded last week: nose guard Louis Nix is off to the NFL.
Nix posted a photo to his Instagram account Thursday showing Notre Dame's golden dome in a car's rearview mirror, and on Friday a report surfaced he had signed with an agent.
Kelly confirmed that report on Sunday, and said Nix will not be able to travel with Notre Dame to the Pinstripe Bowl. Once a player signs with an agent, he is ineligible at the college level.
Nix will graduate from Notre Dame later this month, though he does have a year of eligibility remaining. It's the same situation Tyler Eifert was in last year, with the tight end passing on a fifth year to enter the NFL Draft, in which he was a first-round pick.
Nix is expected to be a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, with some projecting him as a top-15 pick. He underwent knee surgery last month to repair a torn meniscus, and had a PRP injection in his knee to deal with tendonitis.
Last month, Nix played coy with his future, saying he wouldn't mind coming back to Notre Dame and teaming up with Everett Golson next fall. Though for Nix, the allure of graduating from Notre Dame and still landing a hefty payday was too great to pass up.
Kelly said he didn't find out about Nix signing with an agent "until it was too late," and didn't have a conversation with him about his decision. But Kelly wasn't harboring any ill will toward Nix, saying his now-former nose guard will be fine.
"There's a lot of factors that are involved there," Kelly said. "I think the most important choice he made was coming to ND and getting his degree. The rest of those, you're splitting hairs. We'll find out."