Star Ohio State Receiver Officially Out For Playoffs, Focuses On NFL Draft

Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba won’t play in the Buckeyes’ College Football Playoff semifinal game against Georgia, announcing Monday that he will turn his focus to the NFL Draft.

 “After consulting with my doctors, it has been determined that I will not be able to participate in the playoffs,” Smith-Njigba said. “I did everything possible to put myself in a position to get back on the field.”

Smith-Njigba has barely played for Ohio State this year after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 1 against Notre Dame.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Jaxon Smith-Njigba will miss Ohio State’s playoff game against Georgia. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He played sparingly in just two other games this year – against Toledo and Iowa – and finished with just five catches for 43 yards.

Smith-Njigba entered the season as one of the most coveted NFL prospects after an insane 2021 campaign that saw him break the Big Ten record with 1,606 yards.

The junior capped his breakout season with an incredible Rose Bowl performance in which he caught 15 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns.

Ohio State set to face Georgia without Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Smith-Njigba told ESPN he plans to continue to rehab and that he is “absolutely planning” to participate in the NFL combine.

The 6-foot-197-pound receiver added that he’s “excited to have the opportunity to show everyone that I still am WR1.”

“I’m going to have an even bigger impact in the NFL than when I played at OSU,” he said. “I’m a playmaker who helps my team win and nothing has changed. My game both physically and mentally has only improved. The NFL is going to get a better version of me.”

No. 4 Ohio State snuck into the CFB playoff field thanks to USC’s loss to Utah last Friday. They are no set to face No. 1 Georgia on New Year’s Eve.

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

Leave a Reply