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Injured Wisconsin LB Jack Cichy to enter NFL draft

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 03: Jack Cichy #48 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates with fans after defeating the LSU Tigers 16-14 at Lambeau Field on September 3, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

MADISON — Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy has decided to enter the NFL draft, foregoing a chance to ask the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility because of a right knee injury.

Cichy announced his decision in a story posted Tuesday on The Players Tribune website. He was announced as one of the team’s departing seniors before the sixth-ranked Badgers’ regular-season home finale on Nov. 18 against Michigan.

Arguably Wisconsin’s best player, Cichy was on preseason watch lists for postseason awards when he got hurt during a special teams drill in training camp. He was set to anchor a deep linebacker corps on one of the country’s top defenses.

Wisconsin (12-1) persevered and led the country in total defense (253.2 yards), allowing just 13.2 points per game. The Badgers will face Miami in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.

Cichy’s 2016 season ended after seven games because of a pectoral injury. He took a redshirt season during his second season at Wisconsin in 2014.