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Ryan Day Sends Clear Message On Jaxon Smith-Njigba's Departure

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day

Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba broke nearly every single-season receiving record for the Buckeyes back in 2021. 

One year later, Smith-Njigba's 2022 campaign will end with the receiver catching just five passes for 43 yards. 

Suffering from a hamstring injury picked up in the Buckeyes' season-opener against Notre Dame, Smith-Njigba only suited up for three total games this year. While rumored to potentially make a return for the Michigan game or a playoff appearance, it's been confirmed Monday that Jaxon Smith-Njigba has played his last game with Ohio State. 

According to the Buckeye page Eleven Warriors, Njigba will continue to rehab his injured hamstring and won't play in Ohio State's Peach Bowl semifinal matchup with Georgia. 

Reacting to today's news, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day thanked the talented receiver for his limited time with the Buckeyes, saying "he has had such a major impact here in Columbus, on and off the field." 

Smith-Njigba's electric 2021 season fueled talks of the receiver being selected in the first round of the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. 

The shifty wideout caught 95 passes for 1,606 yards last year - both school records - and finished his season with an unbelievable 15-catch, 347 yard breakout performance against Utah in the Rose Bowl. 

While the Buckeyes have enjoyed a sensational season from wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Smith-Njigba's absence has been apparent in several Ohio State matchups during 2022. When teams - like Michigan last week -  find a way to shut down Harrison Jr., the Ohio State offense sputters. 

Despite losing Jaxon Smith-Njigba for the rest of the year, the Buckeyes were on the receiving end of some good fortune during championship weekend. No. 3 TCU fell to Kansas State in overtime and No. 4 USC was defeated by Utah, opening the door for Ohio State to fill in as the fourth team in the College Football Playoff. 

Ohio State will take on No. 1 Georgia in the Peach Bowl on December 31st in Atlanta.