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Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba declares for 2023 NFL Draft, will miss College Football Playoff

The dynamic wideout’s career at OSU is over as he’ll now focus on the NFL Draft.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Lori Schmidt / Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba is officially NFL bound.

The Buckeye wideout told Pete Thamel of ESPN on Monday that he has officially declared for the 2023 NFL Draft and will miss OSU’s College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against Georgia on New Year’s Eve. The star receiver appeared in just three games this season due to a prolonged hamstring injury and doctor’s indicated that he wouldn’t have been able to suit up for the playoff contest at the end of the month.

Even in the presence of Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson in the same receiver room, Smith-Njigba managed to stand out during the 2021 season. The Rockwall, TX, native set the single-season Big Ten receiving record by hauling in 95 targets for 1,606 yards, and nine touchdowns. He was a force in Ohio State’s comeback victory over Utah in the Rose Bowl last January, catching 15 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns.

JSN entered this season as a prime candidate to win the Biletnikoff Award and potentially the Heisman Trophy before a hamstring injury in the Week 1 opener against Notre Dame altered his year. He would make brief appearances in games against Toledo and Iowa, but could never get back to full strength. He will now head to the NFL Draft where many mock drafts still have him projected as a first-round pick.