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Notre Dame DE Lewis-Moore says there’s a chance he could go in 6th or 7th round

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For a moment, Notre Dame defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore saw his NFL career end before it even started as he lay on the turf at Sun Life Stadium in Miami in January, clutching his knee and fearing the worst.

‘‘When I tore it, I knew automatically something was wrong,’’ said Lewis-Moore, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the second quarter of Notre Dame’s loss to Alabama in the BCS national title game. ‘‘I was more in shock than anything. It hurt, but it wasn’t excruciating pain. I was more like, ‘Oh, my God, my knee. There goes my season, the NFL. There goes everything.’’

The devastating injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. There wouldn’t have been much that he could’ve done to change the outcome of the game. But with the NFL draft less than four months away, his dream of being drafted seemed all but over.

Maybe. Maybe not.

The 6-4, 306-pound Moore saw his draft stock rise as he had a stellar senior season at Notre Dame — six sacks, 81/2 tackles for loss, nine quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles. The injury was a major setback. Lewis-Moore has been unable to participate in the draft process as he rehabilitates his knee. But he’s still holding out hope of being drafted this weekend.

‘‘[During the season] I was hearing mid-round guy with a chance to jump up a couple of rounds,’’ Lewis-Moore said. ‘‘Obviously with the injury, that goes down. But I’ve heard from a lot of teams — they will be surprised if I don’t get drafted.’’

Even Lewis-Moore knows that would be an upset. But he’s encouraged by conversations he has had with scouts, who have not forgotten him or the season he had in 2012.

‘‘I’ve heard sixth, seventh round — that gives me hope and motivation,’’ Lewis-Moore said. ‘‘But projections are just projections. I’m kind of expecting [to be a] free agent because I don’t want to be disappointed. I think I’m going to have fun with the process. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance.’’

Lewis-Moore, a Weatherford, Texas, native who graduated from Notre Dame in 2012 with a business-marketing degree, has spent his post-operation time in Chicago, rehabbing at EFT Sports Performance in Highland Park.

He expects to be ready to play by August or September. If he’s not drafted, he’s certain to be signed as a free agent.

‘‘It’s OK,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve had scouts say, ‘Hey, Kap, how’s the knee?’ I know they haven’t forgotten about me.’’



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