COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – An Ohio State wide receiver won’t play in the playoff semifinals after being sidelined for most of the season.
Instead of participating in the Peach Bowl matchup on New Year’s Eve against the Georgia Bulldogs, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba will keep rehabilitating from his injury while he preps for the 2023 NFL Draft, he announced Monday afternoon on social media.
“I have decided to focus on getting 100% healthy and commit to my training for the next chapter in my football journey,” said Smith-Njigba.
Originally from Rockwall, Texas, Smith-Njigba was known by some as the best wide receiver in the U.S. coming into 2022. He set records with the Buckeyes last season including most receptions at 95 and receiving yards with 1,606.
Smith-Njigba sustained a hamstring injury during the 2022 season opener against Notre Dame. He played in two games for the Buckeyes since, with the last being an Oct. 22 matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes. He caught five passes for 43 yards this season.
“He has had such a major impact here in Columbus, on and off the field, in a relatively short period of time,” said OSU head coach Ryan Day. “We all know he has a very bright future ahead of him and we all support him as he moves forward with his career.”
The Buckeyes will take on the Bulldogs at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 in Atlanta for a spot in the national championship game. The winner will face either Michigan or TCU in the final on Jan. 9 in Los Angeles.