Peach Bowl Live: The semifinals for the College Football Playoff take place on Dec. 31 this year, with the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl hosting the matchups. Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba will not play in the College Football Playoff Peach Bowl semifinal vs. No. 1 Georgia after missing much of the season with a lower-body injury, the school announced on Monday. Smith-Njigba will begin preparations for the 2023 NFL Draft.
I want to thank Jaxon for all he has done for our Ohio State program,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said in a statement. “He has had such a major impact here in Columbus, on and off the field, in a relatively short period of time. We all know he has a very bright future ahead of him and we all support him as he moves forward with his career.”
Smith-Njigba put together one of the great seasons in program history during a breakout sophomore campaign in 2021; his 95 catches for 1,606 yards broke both program records, and his 347-yard performance against Utah in the 2022 Rose Bowl also stands as an Ohio State record.
Smith-Njigba left the No. 4 Buckeyes’ season opener against Notre Dame with a hamstring injury. He appeared in only two more games wins against Toledo and Iowa while trying to recover from the injury. Ultimately, he was unable to return for most of the season.
Ohio State missed Smith-Njigba’s playmaking ability out of the slot this season, especially during a painful 45-23 loss against No. 2 Michigan. However, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud still has plenty of weapons to work with heading into the College Football Playoff. Top receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka both cleared the 1,000-yard plateaus after their teammate went down while former five-star prospect Julian Fleming also emerged as an option. The 15 bowl practices should also give some of Ohio State’s young receivers including four true freshmen who were top-151 recruits a chance to catch up in time to play Georgia.